Hundreds of Black Lives Matter supporters, including Michael Brown’s father, are calling for the BLM Global Network Foundation to provide “financial transparency” and “internal accountability” amidst reports that the organization’s founders used funds to enrich themselves.
The supporters founded their own BLM organization called BLM10+ that represents the “original 10 signatories and the other chapters and organizers” that “remain steadfast in our open calls for accountability from the BLMGNF and Patrisse Cullors.”
They launched the splinter organization following reports that Cullors bought four luxury homes totaling millions of dollars, and that BLMGNF brought in more than $90 million in 2020.
“To the best of our knowledge, most chapters have received little to no financial support from BLMGN since the launch in 2013,” BLM10+ said in a statement. “It was only in the last few months that selected chapters appear to have been invited to apply for a $500,000 grant created with resources generated because of the organizing labor of chapters. This is not the equity and financial accountability we deserve.”
A report last June found that only 6% of the funds the BLMGNF raised went to local chapters and grassroots organizations, while millions of dollars went toward travel and staff compensation.
“Nepotism, proximity to power, and access to resources became more important to the Network than making sure that they had a radical vision, objectives, and strategies created through a transparent, democratic decision making process and a solid foundation of shared governance and political alignment,” BLM10+ continued.
The new organization has the support of several high-profile families whose relatives were involved in clashes with the police that sometimes turned fatal.
Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy fatally shot in Cleveland by police in 2014; Lisa Simpson, the mother of Richard Risher, who was shot and killed by police in 2016; and Michael Brown Sr., the father of Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by police in 2014, have all joined BLM10+.
The group argued the BLMGN raised millions of dollars “because of the pain” of these families only to “hoard” those resources “from families, chapters, and organizers.”
“BLMGN has come to reflect the ‘problematic’ nonprofit industrial complex it criticized,” BLM10+ said.