BLM: $60M Unaccounted For After Leaders Quietly Jump Ship
Charity experts have expressed alarm at the lack of transparency with Black Lives Matter’s $60 million in donations after it emerged that the two people announced as leading the organization never took on the role, and no one seemed able to say who’s in charge of the funds.
BLM’s most recent tax filing gives an address in Los Angeles that doesn’t exist. The two remaining directors couldn’t shed any light on who’s in charge of the $60 million. After being asked about the situation, one even removed BLM associations from his social media accounts.
The organization hasn’t yet filed a 2020 return, a Form 990, as required, which could result in a fine from the IRS.
“This is grossly irregular and improper for a nonprofit with $60 million in its coffers,” said Paul Kamenar, counsel for the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group.
Laurie Styron, executive director of CharityWatch, said the findings were deeply troubling.
“Like a giant ghost ship full of treasure drifting in the night with no captain, no discernible crew, and no clear direction,” Styron said.
In May 2021, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors stepped down as director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network amid scrutiny over her finances and appointed two activists, Makani Themba and Monifa Bandele, to serve as the group’s senior directors. But both said they never took the jobs, and they don’t know who did.
Shalomyah Bowers and Raymond Howard, the two remaining BLM board members, didn’t return requests for comment on who’s been in charge since Cullors left in May.
After Howard was contacted for comment, he changed his LinkedIn profile to distance himself from BLM.
Charity expert Doug White says it’s a red flag that BLM won’t answer basic questions about its finances and leadership.
“Sixty million dollars is not chump change,” White said.
“What BLM does is of tremendous social importance. That they won’t give an honest or complete or straightforward answer in regards to its leadership is a concern. Not only do they not have an executive director right now, we think, but they also don’t want to tell you how the organization is being run.”