Ten local chapters of Black Lives Matter have accused the national organization for the movement of hiding “untold millions of dollars” in donations and have called for increased transparency and “equity.”
Black Lives Matter chapters in Chicago, Denver, Hudson Valley in New York, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, San Diego, Vancouver in Washington state, and Washington, D.C., signed onto a statement issued Monday condemning the Black Lives Matter Global Network (BLMGN) Foundation. The foundation, the statement said, has taken major actions without input from chapter leaders and refused until recently to make any effort to distribute millions of dollars-worth of donations to grassroots activists.
“Since the establishment of BLMGN, our chapters have consistently raised concerns about financial transparency, decision making, and accountability,” the statement says. “Despite years of effort, no acceptable internal process of accountability has ever been produced by BLMGN and these recent events have undermined the efforts of chapters seeking to democratize its processes and resources.”
The chapters list several accusations against BLMGN, which is led by Executive Director Patrisse Khan-Cullors, a co-founder and the sole board member of BLMGN. Khan-Cullors was installed as executive director of the national organization “against the will of most chapters and without their knowledge,” the local chapters say.
The BLM locals say that the formation of BLM Grassroots, created to aid the organizational needs of local chapters, was done without input from and without notifying local chapters. “The formation of BLM Grassroots effectively separated the majority of chapters from BLMGN without their consent and interrupted the active process of accountability that was being established by those chapters,” the statement says.
The local chapters say the national foundation has refused to coordinate with local leaders on a cohesive vision. The chapters also say that BLMGN has refused to be transparent about its donations, and has largely refused to share that money with local activists.
“For years there has been inquiry regarding the financial operations of BLMGN and no acceptable process of either public or internal transparency about the unknown millions of dollars donated to BLMGN, which has certainly increased during this time of pandemic and rebellion,” the statement says.
“To the best of our knowledge, most chapters have received little to no financial support from BLMGN since the launch in 2013. 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,” the statement continues. “This is not the equity and financial accountability we deserve.”
The BLMGN announced on June 11 that it was launching a $6.5 million fund “to support grassroots organizing work.” Khan-Cullors and fellow co-founder Opal Tometi have in the past asserted that local BLM chapters and grassroots activists are the foundation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Despite the co-founders’ rhetoric, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported in June that “BLM Global Network spent $4.5 million on consultants, travel and compensation for its staff from July 2017 through June 2019 while at the same time providing only $328,000 to outside groups such as its local chapters.”
BLMGN nor Patrisse Khan-Cullors did not immediately respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment.