BLM Co-Founder Says She Put $6 Million Home To Personal Use
One of the founders of the embattled Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation admitted in an interview that she had hosted two previously-undisclosed parties at a $6 million residence purchased with funds donated to the organization.
Patrisse Cullors, who is regarded as a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement and was the BLMGNF executive director until resigning last year, made the comments during a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press published on Monday. In the interview, Cullors discussed what she believed were the organization’s shortcomings as it quickly grew from a decentralized, social-media driven rallying cry to an international social justice nonprofit that brought in tens of millions of dollars from individuals and corporations.
Cullors likened the organization’s rapid growth to “building the plane while flying it,” a nod to the idea that she and her BLMGNF colleagues were unprepared for the transition from grassroots organizers to executives with responsibility for fiscal oversight over huge sums of money. In hindsight, she said, she wished that the organization could have “paused for one or two years, to just not do any work and just focus on infrastructure.” She said she has been repeatedly harassed over her activism, most recently this month by Black conservative troll Candace Owens, who showed up at her home with a camera crew claiming to be filming a documentary.
Yet Cullors denies any financial wrongdoing and said it was hurtful that anyone would accuse her of using the organization as a piggy bank.
Criticism of BLMGNF and its founders has long centered on whether it was being appropriately transparent for an organization that had begun raising millions of dollars.
But perhaps the biggest controversy surrounding the organization and Cullors’ time leading it–she resigned as executive director last May–is the 2020 purchase of a $6 million Los Angeles home. Cullors has previously stated that the property was never intended for personal use but instead as a respite for artists and organizers as they worked on movement-related work. But in Monday’s Associated Press interview, she revealed she had at least twice used it for personal purposes.