WASHINGTON • No one appears to have been in charge at Black Lives Matter for months. The address it lists on tax forms is wrong, and the charity’s two board members won’t say who controls its $60 million bankroll, a Washington Examiner investigation has found.
BLM’s lack of transparency surrounding its finances and operations raises major legal and ethical red flags, multiple charity experts said.
“Like a giant ghost ship full of treasure drifting in the night with no captain, no discernible crew, and no clear direction,” CharityWatch Executive Director Laurie Styron said of BLM.
BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors appointed two activists to serve as the group’s senior directors following her resignation in May amid scrutiny over her personal finances. But both quietly announced in September that they never took the jobs due to disagreements with BLM. They said they don’t know who now leads the nation’s most influential social justice organization.
Paul Kamenar, counsel for conservative watchdog group the National Legal and Policy Center, said a full audit and investigation into Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the legal entity that represents the national BLM movement, is warranted.
“This is grossly irregular and improper for a nonprofit with $60 million in its coffers,” Kamenar said.
BLM previously came under fire from local Black activists after the New York Post reported in April that Cullors, then its executive director, had spent $3.2 million on real estate across the United States. The reports followed BLM’s disclosure in February 2021 that it closed out 2020 with $60 million in its bank accounts.
BLM denied allegations that Cullors spent BLM funds on her personal properties. However, BLM and other activist organizations under Cullors’s control offered contracts to an art company led by the father of her only child, the Daily Caller reported.
Cullors announced in May she was stepping down and that activists Makani Themba and Monifa Bandele would lead the organization as senior executives.
But Themba and Bandele revealed in September that they never actually took the job because of disagreements with BLM’s “acting Leadership Council.”