Several Black Lives Matter activists have sued one of the foundation’s leaders.
Nine years after the birth of the slogan “Black lives matter“(“Black lives matter“), The movement is torn apart. The leader of the homonymous foundation is accused by former members of having stolen more than ten million dollars in donations. According to the indictment, Shalomyah Bowers would besubtractedthese millions to finance his own consulting firm. A complaint was filed by at least 26 local branches of the movement on Thursday, September 1, before the Los Angeles Superior Court. The board of directors of the foundation, of which Shalomyah Bowers is a member, reacted by denying any embezzlement.
Shalomyah Bowers was hired in 2020 by movement co-founder Patrisse Cullors to manage the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. This foundation is the legal and administrative entity that manages the finances of the movement. In the same year, the organization received more than $ 90 million in donations following the killing of African American George Floyd by the police officer.
Bowers’ actions led to the foundation being investigated by the tax authorities, “causing irreparable damage to BLM in less than eighteen months“, Is written in the complaint filed, reports the Los Angeles Times . “While BLM leaders and movement workers were on the streets risking his life, Mr. Bowers remained in his comfortable offices devising a fraud and misrepresentation scheme to break the implied contract between the donors and the BLM.“The plaintiffs say.
In New York post, Shalomyah Bowers retorts that this denunciation is just a seizure of power by disgruntled activists trying to wrest control of the movement. She specifically targets a group of activists led by Melina Abdullah, an African American academic, co-founder of a branch of Black Lives Mater in Los Angeles.
In a statement, the board of directors regretted that “white supremacy will be the big winnerof this internal war, describing this initiative as “non-strategic and short-sighted“.
Previous suspicions of embezzlement
This isn’t the first time a Black Lives Matter leader has been suspected of financial wrongdoing. Black Lives Matters co-founder Patrisse Cullors purchased four homes worth nearly $ 3 million between 2016 and 2021. These real estate acquisitions have fueled speculation about the potential misappropriation of funds for her personal enrichment.
In an interview with Los Angeles Times, he cited multiple sources of income, including book publishing and a production contract. The foundation had also indicated al New York post in April 2021: “He performs this role on a voluntary basis and receives no salary or benefits. Patrisse has received a total of $ 120,000 since the organization was founded in 2013, for functions such as serving as a spokesperson and engaging in political education activities. Patrisse did not receive any compensation after 2019.“
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