Tax records state one of the nation’s biggest social justice movements spent millions of dollars in a one-year span on staffing and consultant fees.
Some critics say the leaders never shared resources to grassroots chapters, and others went directly to the civil rights organization’s headquarters and accountants to ask them to verify where and to whom the money raised over the years has gone.
An Associated Press report shows the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) raised $90 million in donations, spent more than $37 million on grants, real estate, and other expenses, and paid almost $4 million in consultant fees between the fiscal year of July 2020 and June 2021.
Tax records reveal the organization also invested $32 million in stocks.
Many of the donations came in after BLM Global Network received an unprecedented amount of donations after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
Three individuals, who received the exuberant consultation fees, specifically raised eyebrows from critics.
A 63-page Form 990 documenting the money exchanges of the BLM Global Network cleared Patrisse Cullors of suspicions that she or her consulting firm received payments directly from the organization.
However, the records show that the movement’s primary nonprofit paid $2.1 million to Bowers Consulting, a firm run by Shalomyah Bowers. Bowers is not only a principal at the consulting firm but the secretary for the board of directors for the organization.
Trap Heals LLC, a company established by Damon Turner, the father of Cullors’ child, was paid $970,000 for his services, while the activist’s brother Paul Cullors secured a contract for his security company of $840,000. Other acquaintances close to Cullors received contracts totaling $1.8 million.
In addition to the consultation fees, the tax forms showed, the organization also made some investments and wealth-building decisions, including the aforementioned stocks, and the purchasing of properties, including a $6 million mansion in Los Angeles.
Read full story at Atlanta Black Star here.