By: Alyssa Wilson
Patrisse Cullors, one of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation co-founders, is stepping down as the executive director.
According to NY Daily News, the Global Network Foundation is the largest group in the Black Lives Matter movement. It received $90 million in donations after the murder of George Floyd.
Cullors founded the group with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi in 2013, after George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing Trayvon Martin. While Garza and Tometi have not been involved in the organization’s daily operations, Cullors remained on to lead.
The 37-year-old has been at the center of controversy surrounding her finances. According to a report by theGrio, the head of Black Lives Matter of greater New York called for an investigation into Cullors’ over million-dollar real estate purchases made in recent years. It alleges that Cullors spent $3.2 million for four homes in the United States.
BLMGNF said Cullors serves the role in a volunteer capacity, and does not receive a salary or benefits. In an exclusive interview with Black News Tonight host Marc Lamont Hill, Cullors said she has never taken a salary from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. She noted that she receives her money from her work as a college professor and producer, book deals and a partnership with YouTube.
Many people have spoken out against BLMGNF and Cullors, including Lisa Simpson. Richard Risher, Simpson’s son, was shot and killed by LAPD in 2016 at the age of 18. She and the mother of Tamir Rice called for Cullors and other activists to step down and “stop monopolizing and capitalizing” on the fight for justice and human rights.
In a press release, the organization announced Makani Themba and Monifa Bandele would serve as the new senior executives. “As a strong advocate for the transformation of Black lives and the end of white supremacy, I’m eager to continue the foundation’s great work over the coming months. I’m fortunate to follow the creative and successful leadership of so many across the country, who have set a bold path for the foundation,” Bandele said.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation does not have a traditional leadership model. It is based on Ella Baker’s philosophy that decision-making should be group-centered and involve multiple people. “BLM was and continues to be an organization that is centered on our love for Black people. I am looking forward to working alongside the powerful team at BLMGNF and BLM grassroots to continue to work towards Black liberation,” Themba said.
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