Patrisse Cullors, BLM Co-Founder, Addresses Accusation Organization Used Donations to Buy $6 Million House

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Image via Getty/Rich Fury/Teen Vogue
Image via Getty/Rich Fury/Teen Vogue

Patrisse Cullors—co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF)—says a recent report alleging the organization “secretly bought a $6 million house” marks a “despicable abuse of a platform.”

In an extended statement shared to Instagram on Tuesday, Cullors—who stepped down from her BLMGNF position of executive director last May—criticized the April 4-dated piece from New York Magazine’s Intelligencer as being “filled with misinformation, innuendo, and incendiary opinions.”

The article focuses on the 2020 purchase of a California property, specifically questioning the use of donated funds. In her subsequent statement, Cullors noted that the property was indeed purchased in 2020, albeit as a space where “those within the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) and broader movement community could work, create content, host meetings, and foster creativity.”

From there, Cullors clarified that the purchase wasn’t announced sooner for simple renovation-related reasons, not anything “nefarious” as claimed in the article. The activist and artist also shared a reminder that she is “no longer in leadership” at the foundation and also pointed to upcoming tax documents as being integral in further clearing up any funds-related claims.

“I have never misappropriated funds, and it pains me that so many people have accepted that narrative without the presence of tangible truth or facts,” she said Tuesday. “Nevertheless, this will soon be made clear upon the release of the BLM 990s.”

Similar claims were brought against the organization last year, with a subsequent fact-checking piece from USA Today finding “no evidence to support the idea” that Cullors had used donations to buy four reported properties. Still, claims of this variety were circulated, particularly among GOP-aligned circles.

In a statement shared in April of last year, BLMGNF responded to the claims being spread by “right-wing media,” pointing out that Patrisse served in her executive director role in a volunteer capacity. Furthermore, BLMGNF said, Patrisse had received a total of $120,000 since the organization began back in 2013 and “did not receive any compensation” beyond 2019.

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