BLM’s Partnership with IDEX In 2015, Black Lives Matter quietly established a legal partnership with a small San Francisco-based charity, the International Development Exchange (IDEX), which in November of that year began acting as a manager of BLM’s financial affairs. In this role, IDEX gained the ability to receive grants and tax-deductible donations on BLM’s […]
BLM’s Partnership with IDEX
In 2015, Black Lives Matter quietly established a legal partnership with a small San Francisco-based charity, the International Development Exchange (IDEX), which in November of that year began acting as a manager of BLM’s financial affairs. In this role, IDEX gained the ability to receive grants and tax-deductible donations on BLM’s behalf. In 2016, the BLM-IDEX relationship evolved into a contractual partnership that was scheduled to run through at least the middle of 2017. In lieu of paying an administrative fee for IDEX’s financial-management services, BLM agreed instead to make donations to IDEX’s partners in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Prior to the formation of this BLM-IDEX partnership, IDEX executive director Rajasvini Bhansali had known BLM co-founders Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors for about a decade through their work in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Black-Led Movement Fund
In the summer of 2016, the Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy announced the formation of the Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF), a six-year pooled donor campaign whose goal was to raise $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition, which is a partner of BLM. The stated purpose for which this money would be used was to “create alternatives to institutions that have been harmful to Black people, and build local Black community power.” BLMF, which also provided funding to the BLM Global Network Foundation on several occasions, identified itself as the creation of a number of large philanthropic foundations including not only Ford and Borealis, but also the Kellogg Foundation and George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. Said the Ford Foundation: “The Movement for Black Lives has forged a new national conversation about the intractable legacy of racism, state violence, and state neglect of black communities in the United States.” According to Borealis, “The BLMF provides grants, movement building resources, and technical assistance to organizations working to advance the leadership and vision of young, Black, queer, feminists and immigrant leaders who are shaping and leading a national conversation about criminalization, policing and race in America.” In a joint statement, Ford and Borealis said that their Fund would “complement the important work” of such entities as the Hill-Snowden Foundation, Solidaire, the NoVo Foundation, the Association of Black Foundation Executives, the Neighborhood Funders Group, anonymous donors, and others. In addition to raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives, the BLMF planned to collaborate with Benedict Consulting on “the organizational capacity building needs of a rapidly growing movement.”
The Role of George Soros in Funding BLM’s Agendas
Another major contributor to BLM’s agendas has been billionaire financier George Soros. Through his Open Society Foundations (OSF), Soros in 2014 gave at least $33 million to support already-established groups that, as The Washington Times put it, “emboldened the grass-roots, on-the-ground activists in Ferguson,” Missouri, where anti-police protests erupted in the aftermath of an incident where a white police officer killed Michael Brown, a black teenaged criminal who was attempting to steal the officer’s gun. “The financial tether from Mr. Soros to the activist groups gave rise to a combustible protest movement that transformed a one-day criminal event in Missouri into a 24-hour-a-day national cause celebre,” said the Times. The recipients of this $33 million were mostly supporters of BLM, though the money was used for many different purposes, and not just to advance the BLM agenda. In 2015, Soros’s OSF gave $650,000 to “groups at the core of the burgeoning #BlackLivesMatter movement.”
On July 13, 2020, the Open Society Foundations, in support of BLM and its allies, pledged to donate $220 million to programs designed to help “build power in Black communities, promote bold new anti-racist policies in U.S. cities, and help first-time activists stay engaged.” The pledge earmarked $150 million in five-year grants for black-led “racial justice” organizations, and $70 million for a range of initiatives such as helping city governments reform policing and criminal justice by “moving beyond the culture of criminalization and incarceration.” “This is the time for urgent and bold action to address racial injustice in America,” said OSF deputy chair Alex Soros, George Soros’s son. “These investments will empower proven leaders in the Black community to reimagine policing, end mass incarceration, and eliminate the barriers to opportunity that have been the source of inequity for too long.” Tom Perriello, executive director of Open Society-U.S., said: “The success of this movement, the largest in U.S. history, will be measured over years, not weeks, and we cannot say that Black lives matter and not make a multi-year commitment to a strategy set by and centering Black leaders and organizations who changed America’s sense of what is possible.”
Corporations That Have Supported BLM
Google & BLM
In 2015, the Google corporation pledged to give the Ella Baker Center (EBC) a grant of $500,000 which was to be used to fund the efforts of BLM co-founder (and EBC fellow) Patrisse Cullors, to create — in conjunction with the ACLU — a police brutality app that would enable people to report instances of police misconduct via their cellular phones. Noting that “the real cost for a simple app like this should be under $5,000,” Ed Straker wrote in the American Thinker: “Why is Cullors getting $495,000 more than the cost needed to design a useless app? Well, here is another statistic: Google is only 2% black. It looks as though Google is giving hush money to black radicals so they won’t attack Google’s ‘racist’ employment statistics, much as companies used to give hush money to Jesse Jackson for much the same reason.”
Corporate Contributors in 2020
Corporations that contributed significant sums of money to BLM in 2020 included the following:
- 23 and Me (DNA testing and analysis)
- Airbnb (lodging rentals)
- Amazon (online retail giant)
- Anastasia Beverly Hills (fashion company)
- Aritizia (women’s fashion brand)
- Asai (women’s clothing and accessories)
- Bad Robot Productions (film studio involved in Star Trek, Star Wars, and Mission Impossible)
- Bank of America
- Billie (razor company)
- Biossance Beauty Company (skin care products)
- Boy Smells (scented products)
- BTS (a Korean pop music group)
- Bungie (video game developer)
- Chips Ahoy
- Cisco (electronics giant)
- Deciem (cosmetics)
- Deckers Beands (footwear)
- Democracy Alliance
- Devolver Digital (video game publisher)
- Door Dash (food delivery company)
- Etsy (e-commerce)
- Fitbit (maker of health and fitness trackers)
- Ganni (clothing)
- Gatorade (sports drink manufacturer)
- Deneral Motors
- Glossier (cosmetics)
- Goldman Sachs
- H&M Clothing
- Hourglass Cosmetics
- ILIA (beauty products)
- Intel (technology company)
- Kosas (cosmetics)
- Lululemon Sportswear (clothing)
- MOTHER (denim brand)
- Nabisco (snack manufacturer)
- Pokemon Company (owners of the popular card game and its characters)
- Pretty Little Thing (women’s fashion clothing)
- Riot Games
- Ritz Crackers
- Savage X Fenty (lingerie brand)
- Scopely (mobile phone game developer)
- Skillshare (educational videos
- Sony Music Group
- Spanx (undergarment manufacturer)
- Square Enix (Japanese computer games company)
- Thatgamecompany (video game development company)
- Tinder (online dating network)
- TOMS (shoe company)
- Ubisoft (computer games)
- Unilever (personal hygiene brands)
- United Health Group
- Warner Music Group
- The Weeknd (Canadian R&B singer)
As of June 10, 2020, the following 17 corporations had pledged a combined total of more than $1.6 billion to BLM and related causes (e.g., “to combat systemic racism” and “eradicate anti-Black racism”): Amazon, Bad Robot Productions, Bank of America, Facebook, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, Nike, Riot Games, Sony Music Group, Spotify, Target, United Health Group, Universal Music Group, Verizon, Walmart, and Warner Music Group.
Some specifics: During the three months that followed the May 25, 2020 killing of George Floyd:
- H&M Clothing Company donated $500,000 to BLM and Color Of Change.
- Clif Bar donated $100,000 to BLM and Color Of Change.
- Cisco donated $5-million which was to be split between BLM, Color Of Change, and two other social justice platforms.
- Ritz Crackers joined its sister companies — Oreo, Trident, and Chips Ahoy — in donating $250,000 to BLM, plus another $250,000 to the NAACP.
- Degree, a deodorant company, donated $100,000 to BLM.
- DoorDash donated $500,000 to BLM.
- Stewart Butterfield, the CEO of Slack, and his wife pledged $700,000 to BLM and other social justice organizations; they also pledged to match another $300,000 in employee donations.
- Pokeman International donated more than $100,000 to BLM.
- Dropbox donated $500,000 to BLM.
- Spanx donated $100,000 to be split between BLM, Color Of Change, and the Minnesota Freedom Fund (the latter of which used its share of the money to bail violent criminals out of jail).
- Biossance Beauty Company donated $100,000 to be split between BLM, Color Of Change, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, and the ACLU.
- Lululemon Sportswear gave $250,000 to several organizations, including BLM.
- Square Enix donated $250,00 to BLM and pledged to match any contributions made by its employees.
501(c)(3) Nonprofit Charities That Have Donated to BLM
Among the 501(c)(3) charity organizations that have specifically earmarked contributions to Thousand Currents for the BLM Global Network Foundation are the NoVo Foundation ($1,525,000 from 2015 to 2018), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation ($900,000 from 2016 to 2019), and Borealis Philanthropy ($343,000 from 2016 to 2018).
In addition to its own operations, the BLM Global Network Foundation serves as the hub of a network of at least 16 affiliated local chapters. In some cases these chapters are themselves fiscally sponsored by 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations other than those that fiscally sponsor the BLM Global Network. For example: (a) Black Lives Matter Detroit is fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) called Allied Media Projects; (b) The Denver-based Black Lives Matter 5280 is fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) called the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center.
On August 11, 2020, the Chronicle of Philanthropy wrote that “commitments from foundations to combat systemic racism have topped $1 billion” since protests against systemic racism had begun in late May. “Some are spending money for the first time on efforts to eradicate anti-Black racism,” the Chronicle added.
Support from Shining the Light Advisors
BLM has received significant funding from Shining the Light Advisors (SLA), a partnership created jointly by United Way, A&E, and iHeartMedia. SLA is a committee of “nationally known experts and leaders in racial and social justice” that oversees grant disbursements. The “advisors” who are part of SLA include Van Jones, Advancement Project co-director Judith Browne Dianis, and Rinku Sen, former president of the Applied Research Center (later renamed Race Forward).
Thousand Currents Becomes BLM’s Fiscal Sponsor
Black Lives Matter also goes by the name “Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.” Other names by which it sometimes identifies itself are: (a) “Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc.”; (b) “Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc.”; and (c) “Black Lives Matter Global Foundation, Inc.” The BLM entity was a fiscally sponsored project of Thousand Currents, a left-wing, California-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, from 2016-20. As Robert Stilson of the Capital Research Center explains: “What this means in practice is that the organization does not have its own IRS tax-exempt status but is operating as a ‘project’ of an organization that does. In the case of 501(c)(3) fiscally sponsored projects, this allows for tax-deductible donations.”
In 2018 and 2019, respectively, Thousand Currents funneled $2,622,017 and $3,354,654 in donor-restricted assets to BLM.
Thousand Currents’ Hatred for President Trump
Thousand Currents held former President Donald Trump in the deepest contempt. As the organization said in January 2018: “If we stand opposed to this president and administration, it is incumbent upon us to support and be in solidarity with struggles being led by oppressed communities fighting for transformation.”
Former Marxist Terrorist on Thousand Currents’ Board
In June 2020, the Capital Research Center revealed that the board of Thousand Currents included Susan Rosenberg, a former Marxist terrorist with the notorious May 19 Communist Organization. National Review columnist and former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy in 2008 described the 1980s trial in which Rosenberg had been convicted of terrorist crimes: “Rosenberg turned her New Jersey terrorism trial into a circus, posturing as a political prisoner. At her sentencing, she urged her supporters to continue their war against the United States. (‘When we were first captured we said, we’re caught, we’re not defeated, long live the armed struggle. We’d like to take this moment to rededicate ourselves to our revolutionary principles, to our commitment to continue to fight for the defeat of U.S. imperialism.’) She expressed remorse about only one thing: she hadn’t had the courage to shoot it out with the police who’d apprehended her.”
InfluenceWatch.com describes Rosenberg as follows:
“Rosenberg joined the Weather Underground and other radical, radical left groups which used bombings and other terrorist attacks to protest the Vietnam War and police brutality against minorities. The Underground was founded to overthrow the U.S. government through violent means, though its attacks on police and military resulted in no known deaths…. Rosenberg’s terrorism reached a peak when she and other radicals led the May 19th Communist Organization (M19CO). The nation’s only female-led Communist terror group, it helped break a convicted cop killer out of prison in 1979 and organized a number of bombings around the country. The group also participated in a Rockland County, New York, armored car robbery which left a guard and two police officers dead.”
“Act Blue” As a Conduit for Donations to BLM
By no means did Thousand Currents represent the only avenue by which donors could contribute money to BLM. For example, when visitors to the BLM website sought to contribute money to the movement via that website, they were transported to the web page of ActBlue Charities, an organization that facilitates donations to “democrats and progressives.” As of May 21, 2020, ActBlue had given $119 million to the presidential campaign of Joe Biden. The worldwide BLM protests that subsequently erupted in response to the May 25 police killing of a black criminal suspect named George Floyd in Minneapolis, sparked a new surge of donations to BLM via ActBlue. As The New York Times reported on June 14, 2020: “The [ActBlue] site’s four biggest days ever came consecutively this month as it processed more than $250 million to various progressive causes and candidates in two-plus weeks…. And on June 2, the collective action day that was known as Blackout Tuesday, ActBlue doubled what had been, before this month, its one-day record: raising $41 million in 24 hours.”
The fact that ActBlue is a major fundraiser that focuses so heavily on supporting the Democratic Party — coupled with the fact that BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors candidly stated in a 2020 interview that BLM’s goal “is to get [President] Trump out” of office — led to much speculation that donations to BLM may have ended up in the coffers of the Democratic National Committee and its political candidates. As bestselling author F. William Engdahl wrote on June 16, 2020: “Now major corporations such as Apple, Disney, Nike and hundreds others may be pouring untold and unaccounted millions into ActBlue under the name of Black Lives Matter, funds that in fact can go to fund the election of a Democrat President Biden. Perhaps this is the real reason the Biden campaign has been so confident of support from black voters…. The role of tax-exempt foundations tied to the fortunes of the greatest industrial and financial companies such as Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Hewlett and Soros says that there is a far deeper and far more sinister agenda to current disturbances than spontaneous outrage would suggest.”
Very Little of BLM’s Money Went to Local Chapters or Grassroots Organizations
In June 2020, a Daily Caller report claimed that only 6% of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGN) spending went to local chapters and grassroots organizations, while millions of dollars were used for travel and staff compensation.
The Tides Center Becomes BLM’s New Fiscal Sponsor
In July 2020, Thousand Currents decided to discontinue its fiscal sponsorships in order to focus more heavily on its grantmaking activities. At that point, the Tides Center — another far-left, tax-exempt nonprofit foundation — became BLM’s new fiscal sponsor.
Thousand Currents Transfers $66.5 Million to BLM’s Coffers
In October 2020, BLM’s former fiscal sponsor, Thousand Currents, transferred $66.5 million directly into BLM’s coffers.
BLM Funds Are Used to Pay Cash for $6 Million Estate in Southern California
Two weeks after Thousand Currents had transferred $66.5 million into BLMGNF’s possession, a man named Dyane Pascall — in a transaction that would be kept secret for the next 18 months — took nearly $6 million that had been donated to BLMGNF and used it to pay cash for a vast Southern California estate that included a 6,500 square-foot mansion with several fireplaces, a soundstage, a pool and bungalow, and parking facilities to accommodate more than 20 vehicles. Pascall was: (a) the financial manager for Janaya and Patrisse Consulting, a Limited Liability Corporation run by BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors and her spouse, Janaya Khan; and (b) the chief financial officer for Trap Heals, a nonprofit organization headed by Damon Turner, the father of Patrisse Cullors’ only child.
Within a week after the aforementioned purchase of the Southern California estate, Pascall transferred ownership of the property to a Delaware LLC that had been established by Perkins Coie, the law firm that in 2016 had been paid by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign to fabricate an election-interference conspiracy theory tying Donald Trump to Russian political operatives.
After the October 2020 ownership transfer of the Southern California estate to the Delaware LLC, BLM leaders began using the mansion for a variety of different purposes — including as a set for recording personal and recreational videos, and as a safe house where they could stay if they felt unsafe in their own homes.
A number of people associated with BLMBNF, Janaya and Patrisse Consulting, and the Bowers Consulting Firm (headed by BLMGNF deputy executive director Shalomyah Bowers), were hired to handle the cleaning, upkeep, maintenance, and security needs for the estate. These individuals were required to sign nondisclosure agreements regarding the existence and ownership of the estate. None were exempt from that requirement, including Cullors’ mother, who was approved for a cleaning job at the property, and Cullors’ sister.
On March 30, 2022, investigative reporter Sean Campbell asked BLM a series of questions about the Southern California estate, which was known internally by BLM as “Campus.” Soon thereafter, BLM leaders circulated an internal strategy memo asking “Can we kill the story?” and suggesting that they should try to distance themselves from the potentially embarrassing facts: “Our angle — needs to be to deflate ownership of the property.”
In an emailed statement dated April 1, 2022, BLMGNF deputy executive director Shalomyah Bowers said that BLM had purchased Campus “with the intention for it to serve as housing and studio space for recipients of the Black Joy Creators Fellowship” (BJCF). Explaining that the mansion would help BLM fellows experience joy amidst the “challenges of the modern world,” BLMGNF added: “Creating opportunities for joyful expression is increasingly necessary but often few and far between. The Black Lives Matter Global Network seeks to change that with a new creative fellowship program.”
But the very existence of BJCF — which, according to BLMGNF, was established to “provid[e] recording resources and dedicated space for Black creatives to launch content online and in real life focused on abolition, healing justice, urban agriculture and food justice, pop culture, activism, and politics” — was never publicly announced until April 2, 2022. Nor did Bowers’ statement explain why, if the house was indeed intended to serve as a space for the production of creative projects, hardly any content had been produced there since its purchase a year-and-a-half earlier.
BLM Gets Its Own Tax-Exempt Status from IRS
In December 2020, the IRS granted BLM its own tax-exempt status, thereby authorizing the organization to operate as a charity independent of any fiscal sponsor — including its most recent fiscal sponsor, the Tides Center.
That newly conferred tax-exempt status made it legally necessary for the BLM Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) to submit an annual filing to the IRS known as Form 990, disclosing information about the Foundation’s donors and expenditures. But BLMGNF submitted no such forms in either 2020 or 2021. Moreover, the Foundation retained the high-profile Democratic lawyer Marc Elias to try to delay its submission of 2020 financial data by switching from calendar-year to fiscal-year tracking of its finances.
$90 Million in Donations, $60 Million Still on Hand
In February 2021, the Black Lives Matter Foundation released a report showing that the BLM movement had taken in more than $90 million in donations during 2020. According to the report, most of the money raised by the foundation was from small donations that averaged about $30 apiece. The report indicated that BLM: (a) had spent $8.4 million on expenses like “staffing, operating and administrative expenses, civic engagement, programs and field expenses, rapid response, and crisis intervention”; and (b) had given some $22 million in grants to local BLM chapters and other black-owned businesses across the United States. Thus, by the the end of 2020, BLM was in possession of approximately $60 million.
Cullors: “That Was a Lot of White Guilt Money”
Reflecting on the $90 million in donations that BLM collected during 2020, Cullors said in May 2022: “That was a lot of White guilt money. There’s a lot of White folks being like, ‘We just got to put the money.”‘
Allegations of BLM’s Financial Malfeasance
In June 2021, BLM10+ — a group consisting of the original 10 BLM chapters plus some newer chapters — demanded that the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGN) provide “financial transparency” and “internal accountability” regarding the assets it had accumulated. The father of Michael Brown — a black teenager who had been shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer in 2014 — lent his support to the efforts of BLM10+ to question the motives and the financial maneuverings of BLMGN. “To the best of our knowledge, most chapters have received little to no financial support from BLMGN since the launch in 2013,” said BLM10+. “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.”
In a June 10, 2021 press release titled “Tell No Lies,” BLM10+ asserted that “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.” “The salaries, such as those of Patrisse Cullors, other founders, and staff have never been reported to Chapters,” the press release added. “… As we labored to build grassroots movements in our communities, our engagement with BLMGN was always problematic and unsupportive. We never knew who made decisions or how decision making processes were determined.”
Patrisse Cullors’ Wealth and Multiple Homes
In 2016, Patrisse Cullors purchased a three-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom home in Inglewood, California for $510,000.
In 2018, she paid $590,000, in cash, for a four-bedroom, 1,725 square-foot home in South Los Angeles,.
In January 2020, she paid $415,000 for a three-bedroom, two-bath “custom ranch” on 3.2 rural acres in Conyers, Georgia. The house included a private airplane hangar with a studio apartment above it; an indoor swimming pool; the use of a 2,500-foot community runway capable of accommodating small airplanes; and a large “RV shop” where a mobile home or small aircraft could undergo maintenance or repair.
In April 2021, it was reported that Cullors had purchased her fourth home, a secluded mini-compound in Los Angeles’ semi-remote Topanga Canyon, for more than $1.4 million.
It was also reported in April that Cullors had recently looked at property in an ultra-exclusive resort in the Bahamas, where luxury beachfront apartments and townhouses were priced in the range of $5 million to $20 million.
In June 2021, it was reported that Cullors had spent $35,000 to have contractors install wooden fencing around the entire perimeter of her Topanga Canyon home. They also installed an electronic gate at the driveway portion of the property.
BLM Activist Maejor Page Fraudulently Uses BLM Donations for Personal Gain
On September 25, 2020, the FBI’s Cleveland Division, the Toledo Resident Agency, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio together announced
of 32-year-old Toledo resident
Sir Maejor Page — a.k.a. Tyree Conyers-Page — who had been the President and CEO of “Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta” (BLMGA) ever since he founded the organization in March 2016 as a nonprofit capable of accepting monetary donations. The BLMGA website promised donors that “all funds would be used to fight” on behalf of the massive social and political “movement” that had been sparked by the infamous May 2020 death of George Floyd
in Minneapolis. But an investigation by the aforementioned agencies found that BLMGA was actually little more than a shell organization designed to enable Page to pry cash from the wallets of unsuspecting donors who thought their money was being used for “social justice” purposes.
BLMGA took in more than $466,000 in donations during June, July and August of 2020 alone. But investigators found that Page, during that period and thereafter, had repeatedly used a debit card linked to BLMGA’s bank account in order to make purchases related to food, dining, entertainment, clothing, furniture, a home security system, tailored suits and accessories, and even a $112,000 residence and adjacent lot in Toledo. According to court documents filed against Page: “Defendant attempted to conceal the purchase of the real property by titling the property to ‘Hi Frequency Ohio’ and requested that the seller’s realtor enter into a nondisclosure agreement, thereby preventing the seller from disclosing the Defendant as the true buyer and disclosing that he used BLMGA’s funds.”
In the course of their probe of Page’s financial activities, investigators found numerous livestream videos on Page’s personal social media account showing him attired in newly purchased clothing, in lavish hotel rooms, and in office space located in Atlanta. The videos also included several audio statements wherein Page boasted about his wealth, his tailored suits and “$150 ties,” and “my [hotel] room way up at the top…at the top top…they put the bottom feeders on these floors….”
All told, Page used donations received via the BLMGA social media page to pay for some $200,000 worth of personal items, while making no identifiable purchase or expenditure related to social or racial justice.
BLM Activist Monica Cannon-Grant Fraudulently Uses Donations for Personal Gain
In 2017, BLM activist Monica Cannon-Grant became the founder and CEO of the non-profit charity Violence in Boston (VIB), which she claimed to have created in response to an incident where someone had attempted unsuccessfully to shoot and kill her son. Arguing that people who attempt to shoot others are, in their own right, “victims” of a society that has abused them, Cannon-Grant said: “You just don’t wake up and want to harm someone. It comes from a place of hopelessness, it comes from PTSD.” “Before they were shooters,” Cannon-Grant added, “they were victims. And someone failed them.” Meanwhile, the VIB website said: “Violence in Boston’s mission is to improve the quality of life and life outcomes of individuals from underserved communities by reducing the prevalence of violence and the impact of associated trauma while addressing social injustices through advocacy and direct services.”
During its first few years of activity, VIB took in a modest but steady stream of donations from the public. The organization’s profile rose suddenly and dramatically, however, after the infamous May 2020 death of George Floyd set off months of BLM protests and riots across the United States. In recognition of Cannon-Grant’s seemingly noble and selfless work on behalf of social and racial justice, the Boston Globe newspaper named her as its “Bostonian of the Year” for 2020.
But Cannon-Grant’s work was not nearly as selfless as she portrayed it to be. Though she claimed that her charity did not pay her any salary, she quietly dipped into VIP’s coffers and paid herself $25,096 during the last nine weeks of 2020, plus another $170,092 over the course of 2021. Cannon-Grant also received large sums of money for consulting services and for participating in “diversity” programs at private corporations. One such payment was a $75,000 grant from Phantom Gourmet, a media company/television program based in Boston.
Moreover, Cannon-Grant and her husband fraudulently applied for $100,000 federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits that they knew they were ineligible to receive because they had other sources of income at that time. The couple also lied to a mortgage lender by claiming that VIB’s financial assets were their own.
In March 2022, Cannon-Grant and her husband were hit with an 18-count indictment for wire fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements to a mortgage lending business. The indictment alleged, among other things, that they had used funds from VIB to pay for their own personal expenses including hotels, car rentals, auto repairs, fuel, restaurant meals, groceries, Walmart purchases, nail salon services, and travel.
BLM Canada Purchases $6.3 Million Mansion
In the summer of 2021, BLM Canada announced that it was purchasing a mansion in Toronto to serve as a hub for the local black community. The transaction involved a transfer of approximately $6.3 million to M4BJ, a Canadian nonprofit co-founded by Toronto native Janaya Khan, who also co-founded BLM Toronto and was the spouse of BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors.
Patrisse Cullors & BLM Pay Enormous Sums to Cullors’ Brother & to the Father of Her Child
A May 13, 2022 tax filing indicated that during the fiscal year of July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, Patrisse Cullors and BLM had used donated funds to pay $840,000 to Cullors Protection, a company owned by Ms. Cullors’ brother, graffiti-artist Paul Cullors, for “professional security services.”
The same tax filing also showed that BLM had paid more than $969,000 for live-event, design, and media production to a Los Angeles-based entertainment and clothing company called Trap Heals LLC, whose founder, Damon Turner, was the father of Patrisse Cullors’ child.
BLM’s largest payout was $2,167,894 which went to the Bowers Consulting Firm owned by BLM Global Network Foundation board member Shalomyah Bowers. According to the tax filing, that money was used for such things as: “administrative support, general consulting, strategy, design … and staff management under the direction of the executive director.”
BLM’s Massive War Chest Is Unaccounted for, After the Quiet Disappearance of the Organization’s Newly Appointed Leaders
On January 27, 2022, the Washington Examinerreported: “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.” CharityWatch Executive Director Laurie Styron likened BLM to “a giant ghost ship full of treasure drifting in the night with no captain, no discernible crew, and no clear direction.”
Eight months earlier, in May 2021, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors had resigned amid controversy over her personal finances and extravagant spending and, on her way out, had appointed activists Makani Themba and Monifa Bandele to serve as the organization’s senior executives. But just four months later, in September 2021, both Themba and Bandele quietly announced that: (a) they had never actually taken those senior executive jobs due to disagreements with BLM’s “acting Leadership Council,” and (b) they had no idea who was actually leading BLM.
Meanwhile, the only two remaining identifiable members of BLM’s board, Shalomyah Bowers and Raymond Howard, both failed in January 2022 to return any of the Washington Examiner‘s numerous requests for comment vis-a-vis the organization’s leadership and its massive bank accounts. Three months earlier, in October 2020, BLM’s former fiscal sponsor, Thousand Currents, had transferred $66.5 million directly into BLM’s coffers. Two months thereafter, in December 2020, the IRS granted BLM its own tax-exempt status, thereby authorizing the organization to operate as a charity independent of any fiscal sponsor. (BLM’s latest fiscal sponsor had been the Tides Center.)
When a Washington Examiner reporter seeking to obtain copies of BLM’s IRS tax forms in January 2022 went to a location which he had been told was BLM’s office in Los Angeles, a security guard at the site informed him that BLM had never had an office there. An unidentified BLM spokesperson subsequently told the Washington Examiner that the organization did not have a “permanent office” at that time.
BLM Shuts Down Its Online Fundraising
On February 2, 2022, the Washington Examiner reported:
“Black Lives Matter shut down all of its online fundraising streams late Wednesday afternoon [February 2], just days after California threatened to hold the charity’s leaders personally liable over its lack of financial transparency. The move comes less than a week after a Washington Examiner investigation found that BLM has had no known leader in charge of its $60 million bankroll since its co-founder resigned in May. California and Washington recently ordered BLM to cease all fundraising activities in their blue states due to the failure of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the legal entity that represents the national BLM movement, to report information about its finances in 2020, the year it raised tens of millions amid the racial protests and riots that followed George Floyd’s killing. […] The donation button that used to be featured prominently on BLM’s website was nowhere to be found as of Wednesday evening.
“The California Department of Justice told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday that ‘BLMGNF is prohibited from soliciting donations so long as its status is listed as delinquent.’ […] BLM also received notice from the state of Washington on Jan. 5 to ‘immediately cease’ all fundraising activities in the state. Washington warned the charity that it could face fines of $2,000 for each violation […] BLM’s charity registration is also out of compliance in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia.”
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said of BLM: “It appears that the house of cards may be falling, and this happens eventually with nearly every scam, scheme, or illegal enterprise. I see patterns that scams kind of universally take: failure to provide board members, failure to provide even executive directors, failure to make your filings available. It all leads to suspicion.”
ActBlue “Donate” Button Is Removed from BLM Website
The ActBlue “donate” button was removed from the Black Lives Matter homepage on February 2, 2022, immediately after reports surfaced about BLM’s massive financial malfeasance which included some $60 million in previous donations that could not be accounted for.
BLM Still Has $42 Million As of May 2022
On May 17, 2022, The Associated Press reported:
“The foundation started by organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement is still worth tens of millions of dollars, after spending more than $37 million on grants, real estate, consultants, and other expenses, according to tax documents filed with the IRS.
“In a new, 63-page Form 990 shared exclusively with The Associated Press, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Inc. reports that it invested $32 million in stocks from the $90 million it received as donations amid racial justice protests in 2020. […]
“It ended its last fiscal year – from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 – with nearly $42 million in net assets. The foundation had an operating budget of about $4 million, according to a board member.”
BLM Executive Shalomyah Bowers Is Accused of “Siphoning” $10 Million from Donors
On September 2, 2022, BLM Grassroots, which had been created in June 2022 to serve as the so-called grassroots wing of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF), filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court accusing Shalomyah Bowers, who had become the head of BLMGNF in April 2022, of “siphoning” off more than $10 million that donors had contributed to BLM over the years. The suit claimed that Bowers had used that money to pay his own Bowers Consulting Firm. “Mr. Bowers decided he could not let go of his personal piggy bank,” BLM Grassroots charged in the lawsuit. “Instead, he continued to betray the public trust by self-dealing and breaching his fiduciary duties. Instead of using the donations for its intended purposes, Mr. Bowers diverted these donations to his own coffers and intentionally took calculated steps to prevent those same resources from being used by BLM for on-the-ground-movement work.”
Bowers dismissed the lawsuit as a “power move by someone hellbent on achieving power and control” over the BLM movement, adding: “It’s the most insane thing I’ve read in a court pleading, and it’s signed under penalty of perjury when they know it’s a lie.” Asserting that BLMGNF had recently undergone audits that disproved the allegations which had been brought against him, Bowers also stated: “We are in the process of correcting things, of fixing things and dealing with disgruntled people who want to take over the group.”
Most of BLM’s Spending Has Been Directed to Consultants and Real Estate, Leaving $42 Million in Net Assets
On October 9, 2022, Breitbart.com reported: “Recent tax filings have also shown the BLMGNF spending more than half of its $90 million fund on consultants and real estate…. It still reportedly has $42 million left in net assets.”
Exposing the Shocking Truth of #BlackLivesMatter
By Glenn Beck
June 24, 2020