Black Lives Matter’s national organization is at risk of going bankrupt after its finances plunged $8.5 million into the red last year – while simultaneously handing multiple staff seven-figure salaries.
Financial disclosures obtained by The Washington Free Beacon show the perilous state of BLM’s Global Network Foundation, which officially emerged in November 2020, as a more formal way of structuring the civil rights movement.
Yet despite the financial controversy and scrutiny, BLM GNF continued to hire relatives of the founder, Patrisse Cullors, and several board members.
Cullors’ brother, Paul Cullors, set up two companies which were paid $1.6 million providing ‘professional security services’ for Black Lives Matter in 2022.
Paul Cullors was also one of BLM’s only two paid employees during the year, collecting a $126,000 salary as ‘head of security’ on top of his consulting fees. He is best known as a graffiti artist, with no background in security.
Patrisse Cullors defended hiring him, saying registered security firms which hired former police officers could not be trusted, given the movement’s opposition to police brutality.
For the previous year, 2021, tax filings revealed that BLM paid a company owned by Damon Turner, the father of Cullors’ child, nearly $970,000 to help ‘produce live events’ and provide other ‘creative services.’
Cullors resigned in May 2021.
‘While Patrisse Cullors was forced to resign due to charges of using BLM’s funds for her personal use, it looks like she’s still keeping it all in the family,’ said Paul Kamenar, an attorney for the National Legal and Policy Center watchdog group.
Shalomyah Bowers, who took over from Cullors when she resigned, also benefitted handsomely from the group: in 2022, his consultancy firm was paid $1.7 million for management and consulting services, the Free Beacon reported.
And the sister of former Black Lives Matter board member Raymond Howard was also employed in a lucrative role as a consultant.
Danielle Edwards’s firm, New Impact Partners, was paid $1.1 million for consulting services in 2022, the Free Beacon said.
BLM GNF also agreed to pay an additional $600,000 to an unidentified former board member’s consulting firm ‘in connection with a contract dispute’.
The non-profit group ran an $8.5 million deficit, and its investment accounts fell in value by nearly $10 million in the most recent tax year, financial disclosures show.
The group logged a $961,000 loss on a securities sale of $172,000, suggesting the group sustained an 85 percent loss on the transaction. Further details of that security have not been shared.
Read More: Black Lives Matter is headed for INSOLVENCY