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BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors denies misuse of funds

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A co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has denied allegations she or other members of BLM leadership misused millions of dollars in donations. In a recent interview, Patrisse Cullors offered insights into the growing pains of an organization that quickly transformed from an idea to a global brand.

“On paper, it looks crazy,” Cullors said. “We use this term in our movement a lot, which is we’re building the plane while flying it. I don’t believe in that anymore. The only regret I have with BLM is wishing that we could have paused for one to two years, to just not do any work and just focus on the infrastructure.”

The 38-year-old author and artist adamantly denied accusations that she had personally benefited in the six years she guided the BLM foundation, including media reports that she had purchased homes for herself and members of her family.

Just over a year ago, the foundation announced a $90 million fundraising haul. That announcement drew sharp criticisms over access to donor funds, as well as broader calls for openness from activists in several local BLM chapters and from the families of police brutality victims who had rallied to support the movement.

More recent disclosures show the foundation had paid $6 million for a Los Angeles compound in 2020, unleashing a torrent of social media chatter. Cullors defended the purchase.

“We really wanted to make sure that the global network foundation had an asset that wasn’t just financial resources,” she said, “and we understood that not many Black-led organizations have property. They don’t own their property.”

Cullors said she had made mistakes and even some regrettable choices that haven’t fostered trust. She acknowledged she had used the BLM property twice for personal purposes.

The foundation confirmed it had billed her for using BLM property, and it said it was reviewing its policies to prevent such uses in the future.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

DEMONSTRATORS: “Black lives matter! Black lives matter! Black lives matter!”

MAHMOUD BENNETT: IT’S THE CHANT BEHIND ONE OF THE LARGEST MOVEMENTS IN THE U.S. BLACK LIVES MATTER. THE FOUNDATION BEHIND IT RAKED IN OVER 90 MILLION DOLLARS IN 2020.  NOW A 6 MILLION DOLLAR LUXURY MANSION HAS THE ORGANIZATION AT THE CENTER OF CONTROVERSY. HERE’S THE THING – IT WAS PURCHASED USING DONATED FUNDS AND BLM’S CO-FOUNDER, PATRISSE CULLORS SAID IT WAS FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS – BUT SHE NOW ADMITS TO USING IT TO HOST HER OWN PRIVATE PARTIES. BLM CRITICS LIKE CANDACE OWENS CALL IT AN OUTRIGHT SCAM.

CANDACE OWENS: She’s being exposed as a fraud who took millions, used the faces of black people… where no black people live

BENNETT: BUT CULLORS DENIES FUNNELING ANY MONEY TO HERSELF.

PATRICE CULLORS: “The idea that BLM received millions and I hid that in my bank account is false.”

BENNETT: A WATCHDOG GROUP HAS FILED A COMPLAINT WITH THE IRS SAYING THE PUBLIC AND SUPPORTERS OF BLM DESERVE A FULL INVESTIGATION OF THE GROUP’S FINANCES. BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK? WAS THIS HOME PURCHASED IN GOOD FAITH? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW

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A co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has denied allegations she or other members of BLM leadership misused millions of dollars in donations. In a recent interview, Patrisse Cullors offered insights into the growing pains of an organization that quickly transformed from an idea to a global brand.

“On paper, it looks crazy,” Cullors said. “We use this term in our movement a lot, which is we’re building the plane while flying it. I don’t believe in that anymore. The only regret I have with BLM is wishing that we could have paused for one to two years, to just not do any work and just focus on the infrastructure.”

The 38-year-old author and artist adamantly denied accusations that she had personally benefited in the six years she guided the BLM foundation, including media reports that she had purchased homes for herself and members of her family.

Just over a year ago, the foundation announced a $90 million fundraising haul. That announcement drew sharp criticisms over access to donor funds, as well as broader calls for openness from activists in several local BLM chapters and from the families of police brutality victims who had rallied to support the movement.

More recent disclosures show the foundation had paid $6 million for a Los Angeles compound in 2020, unleashing a torrent of social media chatter. Cullors defended the purchase.

“We really wanted to make sure that the global network foundation had an asset that wasn’t just financial resources,” she said, “and we understood that not many Black-led organizations have property. They don’t own their property.”

Cullors said she had made mistakes and even some regrettable choices that haven’t fostered trust. She acknowledged she had used the BLM property twice for personal purposes.

The foundation confirmed it had billed her for using BLM property, and it said it was reviewing its policies to prevent such uses in the future.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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