Activist organization Black Lives Matter rose to mainstream fame in 2020 when George Floyd's death became the national conversation.
Although BLM is not a 501c3 non-profit organization, it raked in millions and millions of dollars in donations, all in the name of equality and racial justice. BLM has received much criticism over the last couple of years as they have yet to prove how all of this money has been used to improve minorities' communities around the country. In fact, more information has been released proving that BLM is using millions of dollars of donation money for its leaders' personal gains.
Black Lives Matter Purchased a $6 Million Mansion With Donation Money
New York Magazine reported that the leaders of BLM shelled out $6 million of donation money to purchase a mansion in Southern California. The home has six bedrooms, multiple fireplaces, a pool and bungalow, parking for 20 cars, and a soundstage. You may have seen the home before without knowing. Three BLM leaders Patrisse Cullors (who is a co-founder of the organization), Alicia Garza, and Melina Abdullah recorded a YouTube video in front of the "secretly bought" home as they marked the first anniversary of George Floyd's death.
This massive 2020 purchase was not previously reported and BLM leaders did their best to keep it a secret from an investigative journalist who was looking into the transaction. Dyane Pascall was the original buyer of the home, which was bought after BLM accepted $66.5 million from its fiscal sponsor. Pascall is the financial manager for Janaya and Patrisse Consulting, an LLC operated by Cullors and her spouse Janaya Khan. Within a week, ownership of the home was transferred to an LLC in Delaware; this was apparently done in order to maintain the secrecy of the property's owner. Cullors recently resigned from BLM after she was heavily criticized for buying three swanky homes following the financial success of the organization.
A board member of BLMGNF told New York Magazine that this mansion was meant to be a "housing and studio space" for recipients of the Black Joy Creators Fellowship, but there has hardly been any content filmed at the house since its cash purchase.
New York Magazine reports that they learned of the estate through a source who had access to BLM's internal emails, which referred to the mansion as "campus." When BLM realized that its purchase was being investigated, internal emails circulated that asked, "Can we kill the story?" Another email said, "Our angle - needs to be to deflate ownership of the property."
BLM sent out an internal memo that instructed people to refer to "campus" as "part of cultural arm of the org - potentially as an 'influencer house,' where abolition+ based content is produced by artists & creatives." The memo also attempted to reframe the mansion as a "safehouse" for leaders who felt they were being threatened.
BLM board member Shalomyah Bowers said in a statement that the organization always planned to report the purchase in legal filings in May, but that remains to be seen.
People who support and condemn BLM have been critical of this development, and many are questioning what the future of this organization will be, especially considering that BLM has yet to show any proof that its donations are being used to improve the lives of American minorities.