Only 33% of BLM’s $90M in donations helped charity foundations

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Black Lives Matter’s national organization doled out just over $30 million — 33% of the nearly $90 million it received in public donations from 2020 to 2022 — to charitable foundations, public filings show.

Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, an Oakland, California-based non-profit, gave away the $30,498,722 in grants to black, trans and anti-police non-profits in the fiscal years for 2020 and 2021, according to two federal filings which cover the periods from July 1 2020 to June 30, 2022.

That total includes the $4.5 million the group doled out last year to non-profits run by the movement’s own supporters and friends — even as BLMGNF registered losses of more than $8.5 million last year, its latest public filings for the fiscal year 2021 show.

The group also gave a grant to one of its harshest former critics, paying out $400,000 to the Tamir Rice Foundation.

BLMGNF handed out millions of dollars to supporters of its co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who resigned from the group in 2021. The Post revealed Friday that her lucrative TV deal with Warner Bros. had ended without producing any shows.

Among those taken care of by BLMGNF is Cullors’ brother, Paul Cullors. The self-taught graffiti artist took home $139,708, making him one of only two members of the seven-person board to receive a salary from BLMGNF, according to filings. The other payee was Kailee Scales, the group’s former managing director, who received a payout of $114,625. Scales left the organization in 2020, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Paul Cullors’ company, Black Ties Security, LLC was one of the group’s highest paid contractors, earning $756,330 in 2021 in “security services.”

BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors has been spending more time in her Los Angeles studio working on her art and on a multi-platform deal she signed with Warner Bros. in 2020 to produce black stories.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The security company, which is run out of a UPS store in Mission Hills, California, is close to Paul Cullors’ home.

He purchased the three-bedroom house in the Los Angeles suburbs in February 2021 for $637,006, according to public records.

In 2020, the previous fiscal year, filings show BLMGNF paid another company controlled by Paul Cullors — Cullors Security LLC — $840,993.

That company, which is still active, was registered with the address of his Mission Hills home, according to public records.

Cullors’ brother Paul (right, with their sibling Monte) was paid hundreds of thousands for “security services” from Black Lives Matter.
Instagram / Patrisse Cullors

BLM’s national group also gave a $400,000 grant to the Tamir Rice Foundation, which was set up by Samaria Rice, the mother of the 12-year-old African American boy who was killed by a white policeman in 2014 while playing with a toy gun.

Rice, who started her foundation in 2018 to conduct after school arts programs for at-risk children, had been a vehement critic of Cullors and BLM.

She claimed that the group did not support mothers of black children who had been killed in police violence and pointed the finger at Cullors, blaming her for the disarray in the organization.

“They are benefiting off the blood of our loved ones, and they won’t even talk to us,” Rice told The Post in 2021. 

Activist Cephus Johnson
Activist Cephus Johnson’s charity received the largest grant from BLM at more than $1.2 million. His nephew, Oscar Grant, was killed by a white transit cop in Oakland, California, in 2009.

“The ‘activists’ have events in our cities and have not given us anything substantial for using our loved ones’ images and names on their flyers,” Rice said in a 2021 joint statement with Lisa Simpson, the mother of Richard Risher, who was killed by LAPD officers in 2016.

Rice declined to speak with The Post this week.

BLMGNF’s biggest grant of $1,269,368 last year went to the Love Not Blood Campaign, which was set up by Cephus “Uncle Bobby X” Johnson in memory of his nephew Oscar Grant, a black drug dealer, who was gunned down by a white transit cop in Oakland in 2009.

Johnson is a longtime activist and member of Black Lives Matter, who has worked closely with Cullors over the years. Grant’s death inspired the award-winning film “Fruitvale Station.”

Samaria Rice
Samaria Rice, whose son Tamir was shot killed by a white police officer while he was playing with a toy gun in 2014 received $400,000 from BLMGNF for her Tamir Rice Foundation. Samaria Rice had been critical of Cullors’ management of the charity in the past.

Johnson has said he started the charity in 2010 although he did not apply for charitable status from the IRS until 2019, records show. In 2020, Love Not Blood recorded receiving less than $50,000 in contributions.

LGBTQ causes championed by Cullors were also rewarded by BLMGNF in its most recent disclosure. Cullors, who identifies as queer, married black Canadian activist Janaya Khan, who identifies as queer and non-conforming.

BLMGNF gave out $200,000 to the Trans Justice Housing Project in Atlanta, which helps trans people find housing.

It gave the same amount to Reuniting of African Descendants, a New York-based “black, trans-led grassroots initiative to end genocide against trans and queer people of African descendants” even though the group’s non-profit status had been revoked.

Nala Simone Toussaint
Activist Nala Simone Toussaint’s charity Reuniting African Descendants received $200,000 from Black Lives Matter.

BLMGNF sent the money to Nala Simone Toussaint, a cosmetologist and co-founder of the group who had initially set up a limited liability corporation, which was dissolved last month, public records show. LLCs are allowed to accept donations provided they register with the IRS.

Last year, Toussaint registered Reuniting of African Descendants as a separate non-profit, according to the New York State’s Department of State website.

BLGNF also gave grants to charities honoring other young black men killed by police. It donated $297,000 to the Michael Brown Chosen for Change Foundation, which had its non-profit status revoked for failure to file returns in 2018, public records show.

The group was set up in 2015 in honor of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man who was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014.

Michael Brown
The shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2013 fueled the Black Lives Matter movement.
Splash News

His death led to the wave of protests that fueled Black Lives Matter.

The Michael Brown Foundation Chosen for Change Foundation was set up by Janie Jones, a black Washington-based mediator who was a spokeswoman for Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr, and stepmother, Cal Brown.

Another Michael Brown charity — Michael OD Brown We Love Our Sons and Daughters Foundation — set up by his mother Lesley McSpadden took in $89,303 from BLMGNF, filings show.

BLMGNF saw contributions tank in the 2021 fiscal year, from $76,872,002 in the previous year to $9,268,283. (It recorded total revenues, which include investment income of $79,644,823 in 2020 and $8,489,062 in 2021, for a total of $88,133,885.)

Lesley McSpadden
Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, lays flowers at her son’s grave at his 2014 funeral. Her foundation received more than $89,000 from BLM.

“These latest revelations in audited financials and 990s [federal tax filings] prove the chaos we cited in our complaint with the IRS,” said Tom Anderson, director of the Government Integrity Project at the National Legal and Policy Center, an ethics watchdog group.

The group filed a complaint against BLMGNF with the IRS last year for allegedly violating IRS rules prohibiting the use of nonprofit assets for private benefit, self-dealing, conflicts of interest and unlawful political fundraising,

The Washington Free Beacon, which first reported on the disclosures, observed that the foundation had “blown through two-thirds of the $90 million it raised in the wake of George Floyd’s death in the summer of 2020.”

Over the last two reporting periods, the group recorded a total of $22,704,829 in expenses, which included legal fees, rent and office costs. It paid $969,459 paid to Trap Heals LLC, a company run by Damon Turner, the father of Cullors’ child, in 2021.

More than $2.1 million was paid to Bowers Consulting, a company run by current BLMGNF board member Shalomyah Bowers, according to 2021 federal filings. Bowers’ firm received a further $34,800 in fundraising expenses, according to the latest IRS filing.

Patrisse Cullors, Alizia Garza and Melina Abdullah
BLM activists Patrisse Cullors, Alizia Garza and Melina Abdullah celebrate at the $6 million mansion that the non-profit bought in Los Angeles.
Patrisse Cullors /YouTube

Some $12 million was spent on luxury homes in Los Angeles and Toronto, which the group said it would use for office space and special events.

It suffered a $961,000 loss on a securities sale of $172,000, and paid out $600,000 to an unidentified former board member’s consulting firm “in connection with a contract dispute,” according to the non-profit’s audited financial statements

Cullors resigned from the leadership of BLMGNF a month following The Post’s exposé of her $3.2 million real estate buying spree in 2021.

At the time, Cullors claimed that she did not use any movement cash to buy the properties in Los Angeles and in the Atlanta suburbs.

She has since sold the Georgia property, which included an airplane hangar and a shared runway, public records show. In 2021, she spent $1.4 million on a home in tony Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles, according to reports.

Patrisse Cullors' home
Cullors shelled out $1.4 million for her Topanga Canyon property in Los Angeles in 2021.

St. Elmo Village in Los Angeles, an historic artists’ housing compound where Cullors was living when she and others began the movement, received $200,000 from BLMGNF, filings show.

Cullors met with dozens of organizers in the courtyard of the village, which was built on the site of actress Mary Pickford’s estate, to hammer out the details of the movement in the summer of 2013, according to reports.

The Oakland-based Anti Police-Terror Project, which has hosted protests over the last several years to defund the Oakland Police Department, received $200,000 from BLMGNF, according to its filings. “Until we can abolish the police, we’re pushing for effective police oversight in Oakland,” the group says on its website.

In addition to its grants, BLMGNF spent $1.1 million on a Dayton, Ohio-based company run by the sister of one of its former board members. The cash paid to New Impact Partners was for “consulting services.”

The company is run by Danielle Edwards, the sister of Raymond Howard, according to public filings.

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