Co-founder and executive director of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement Patrice Cullors revealed on May 27, that she will be resigning from the organization after eight years as an involved activist. Her decision to step down has come amidst speculation that Cullors “misused” BLM donations and used the funds for herself.
“For over seven-and-a-half years I was involved in the day-to-day of that organization, working with our chapters, working alongside elected officials, challenging the police,” Cullors said in her released statement, continuing that she “stepped back” briefly in 2019.
Following the May 2020 death of George Floyd and other examples of racial violence in America, she was asked to return to the movement and has been working with BLM since. Now though, Cullors is ready to move on and have the next generation take the reins.
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“It was always supposed to be interim, so now is my time,” the Los Angeles native continued, adding “No worries, y’all. There are amazing competent folks inside of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation,”
Cullors founded BLM in 2013 along with Alicia Garza and Opal Temi. All three activists decided to do something about the death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman, and remind the country that Black lives should be just as important as any other.
Starting off as a hashtag on Twitter, the movement became known around the nation as a rallying cry against police brutality and racial violence experienced by the Black community. And while BLM has brought a lot of attention to a real issue in our country, many have also criticized the organization and its founders for their political views and possible financial gain.
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Cullors, in particular, has received heavy backlash most recently for purchasing a $1.4 million home in Los Angeles’ Topanga Canyon, along with three other homes. Concerned that she was using money from the BLM organization, an investigation was urged by Hawk Newsome, head of BLM’s Greater New York City chapter, News Onyx reported last month.
Black Lives Matter’s official Twitter account released a tweet detailing her compensation from the organization in April, writing “Patrisse has received a total of $120,000 since the organization’s inception in 2013, for duties such as serving as spokesperson and engaging in political education work. Patrisse did not receive any compensation after 2019.”
Patrisse has received a total of $120,000 since the organization’s inception in 2013, for duties such as serving as spokesperson and engaging in political education work. Patrisse did not receive any compensation after 2019.
— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) April 13, 2021
Last October, Cullors signed an overall multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Television Group, which according to Variety, will allow her to “amplify the work of the Black Lives Matter” through television.
In a statement, Cullors said about the deal “As a long time community organizer and social justice activist, I believe that my work behind the camera will be an extension of the work I’ve been doing for the last twenty years. I look forward to amplifying the talent and voices of other Black creatives through my work.”
Let us know what you think about Cullors resigning from BLM and her future business ventures in the comments and reactions below.