Black Lives Matter Facing Financial Insolvency as Financial Mismanagement and Questionable Contracts Surface
Financial disclosures reveal that the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is facing a severe financial crisis. The organization recorded an $8.5 million deficit and witnessed a significant drop of nearly $10 million in the value of its investment accounts during the most recent tax year. Disturbingly, while facing financial turmoil, Black Lives Matter continued to award exorbitant contracts to friends and family of its former executive director, Patrisse Cullors, raising concerns about financial mismanagement within the organization.
Black Lives Matter’s financial troubles are undeniable, with a stark decline in fundraising and significant losses in investments. In the 2022 fiscal year, the organization raised only $9.3 million, marking an 88 percent decrease from the previous year’s funds. These financial struggles were further compounded by compliance and transparency issues that forced Black Lives Matter to shut down its online fundraising streams in February 2022.
Despite its precarious financial situation, Black Lives Matter allocated a substantial portion of its funds towards lavish expenditures and lucrative contracts. The organization spent approximately $12 million from the $90 million raised after George Floyd’s death on luxury properties in Los Angeles and Toronto. The trend of profligate spending continued in the 2022 fiscal year, with over $10.5 million allocated to contractors, including companies linked to Cullors’s friends and family.
One striking example of questionable contracts within Black Lives Matter is the substantial payments made to Patrisse Cullors’s brother, Paul Cullors. Paul Cullors, a graffiti artist with no previous experience as a bodyguard, received $1.6 million in 2022 for providing “professional security services” to the organization. In addition to his consulting fees, Paul Cullors also earned a $126,000 salary as the “head of security” and was one of only two paid employees at Black Lives Matter that year.
Another controversial contract involved Shalomyah Bowers, a board member and close associate of Patrisse Cullors. BLM paid Bowers’s company, Bowers Consulting, $1.7 million for management and consulting services. These payments led to internal disputes, with Black Lives Matter Grassroots accusing Bowers of treating the organization as his personal piggy bank and diverting resources intended for on-the-ground movement work.
Danielle Edwards, the sister of former Black Lives Matter board member Raymond Howard, also received a substantial consulting fee. BLM paid Edwards’s firm, New Impact Partners, $1.1 million for consulting services in 2022. Additionally, the organization disclosed an additional payment of $600,000 to an unidentified former board member’s consulting firm, citing a contract dispute.
The recent financial disclosures paint a troubling picture of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s financial health. Facing an $8.5 million deficit, plummeting investment values, and a drastic decline in fundraising, the organization is headed towards insolvency. Furthermore, the revelations of excessive spending and lucrative contracts awarded to friends and family members of former executive director Patrisse Cullors raise serious concerns about financial mismanagement within the organization. As investigations by the Internal Revenue Service and state attorney generals continue, it is clear that Black Lives Matter must address these issues to regain public trust and ensure that its funds are allocated appropriately to support its core mission.