BLM says it will soon file an IRS document on the mansion and financial disclosures
HOUSTON – Black Lives Matter organization responds after charity watchdog groups and media ask questions about how tens of millions of dollars in donations were spent and the purchase of a $6 million California home .
Some charity and media watchdog groups have reported that the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) has 501c3, has not disclosed who currently runs the organization, or submitted required financial documents.
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CharityWatch.org adds that some local BLM affiliates have complained that they have not received the financial support they had hoped for.
“He actually had no financial activity until 2020, when he received over $60 million from his current fiscal sponsor,” said Laurie Styron, executive director of CharityWatch.org. “It was October 2020 and the public is still waiting for any form of accountability for that money in an official document like a tax return or an audit.”
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We contacted BLMGNF, who sent us the following statement from board member Shalomyah Bowers regarding California ownership:
“The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has purchased the property referenced in your application with the intention that it serve as housing and studio space for recipients of the Black Joy Creators Fellowship. The organization remains dedicated to philanthropy black radicalism and in support of artists who contribute their The acquisition of the property is in furtherance of BLM’s mission and any ancillary uses the organization deems necessary.
The organization has always planned to disclose ownership on the next 990 due May 15 as part of BLMGNF’s ongoing transparency efforts. BLMGNF has and continues to use the space for offsite programming and leadership. The property is not used as a personal residence. Perkins Coie and Dyane Pascall have been engaged to assist with the closing of the acquisition. BLMGNF has formed an LLC to take possession of the property, which is customary in real estate transactions to avoid exposing BLM’s assets to any litigation or liability.
The fellowship provides registration resources and dedicated space for black creatives to launch online and real-life content focused on abolition, curative justice, urban agriculture and food justice, pop culture, l activism and politics. Hosting is an established practice for creators and artists. We ask that the exact physical address remain private as we continue to address the security issues facing the organization and its leaders (past and present) are facing. The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has faced numerous security threats, both online and in person. As standard practice, the organization refrains from discussing its security operations.”
BLMGNF says it will have more updates in the coming weeks and referred us to published statements on the Black Lives Matter Twitter account, reading in part, “BLMGNF is working diligently to increase transparency in operations, including an internal audit, strengthening compliance operations, and creating a new board of directors to help lead the organization into its next evolution.”
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the tweet say more than $25 million has been donated to frontline Black-led organizations and to support families impacted by COVID and police brutality.
We reached out to Patrisse Cullors, who stepped down as BLMGNF chief executive last year. She did not respond, but posted the following statement on her Instagram page:
“Yesterday’s story in New York Magazine is a despicable abuse of a platform meant to provide truthful information to the public. Journalism is meant to mitigate harm and inform our communities. The fact that a publication of reputation would allow a journalist, with a proven track record and a very public bias against me and other black leaders, to write an article filled with misinformation, innuendo and inflammatory opinion, is discouraging and unacceptable. new, the property the reporter addressed was purchased in 2020 as a space where those part of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) and a broader movement community could work, create content, organize meetings and fostering creativity. While I cannot speak to how BLMGNF is currently using the property when I left the organization last year in May, it was purchased to be a safe space for black people in the community. The reason it was not advertised before is not nefarious as the title suggests, the property needed a rep airs and refurbishment. I don’t own the property, I’ve never lived there and I made that clear to the reporter. I want to be clear: while I still consider myself part of the BLM community, I am no longer part of the leadership and I am not part of any decision-making within the foundation. I have never embezzled funds, and it pains me that so many people have accepted this narrative without the presence of hard truths or facts. Nevertheless, this will soon be clarified when the BLM 990s are released. To those within our movement and others who have looked to me for leadership, I am sorry that you have constantly had to engage with this kind of hateful and misleading content. Admittedly, I have not always answered and I know that my silence has contributed to the doubt. I apologize if this has caused you any harm of any kind. But I ask you all to understand the tremendous pressure and fear that comes with living under the constant threat of white supremacist terror and real threats to my life and the lives of the people I love. But I no longer let fear stop me from calling for these attacks.”
We also contacted Black Lives Matter Houston to find out if he had received support from BLMGNF, but did not hear back.
How to verify a charity
Before making a donation to a charity, donors can check charity monitoring sites for information on how an organization is spending donations.