WASHINGTON, D.C. – Frequently faced with public scrutiny about finances and
leadership of Black Lives Matter (BLM), a group of 10 local chapters is renewing
demands for transparency and accountability from the global network, demands that
first began in 2016.
Following a summer of increased organizing for social justice and massive donations to
BLM’s fight for liberation, the local chapters released a public statement on Monday
that outlines deficits in leadership, organization, and financial accounting. Specifically,
the group asserts:
· Patrisse Cullors, as the sole board member of Black Lives Matter Global Network
(BLMGN), became Executive Director of the global group against the will of most
chapters and without their knowledge.
· New organizations, BLM Grassroots and the Black Lives Matter Political Action
Committee were created by BLMGN without consultation with the vast majority of
· Chapter organizers have been consistently prevented from establishing financial
transparency, collective decision-making, and collaboration on political analysis and
vision with BLMGN.
· While millions of dollars have been donated to BLMGN, most chapters have received
little to no financial support since the launch in 2013. It was only in the last few months
that selected chapters appear to have been invited to apply for a $500,000 grant created
with resources generated because of the organizing labor of chapters.
“We remain committed to collectively building an organization of BLM chapters that is
democratic, accountable, and functions in a way that is aligned with our ideological
values and commitment to liberation,” the statement reads.
Participating chapters demand that decision-makers of BLMGN, Grassroots, and the
BLM PAC stop representing themselves as leaders or representatives of all of Black
Lives Matter and provide full financial transparency and accountability to all
chapters. This includes a full financial report from the past and current fiscal sponsors, a
report of all contracts and staff and removal of any obstacles for interviews with them,
and a public commitment to democratizing the use and distribution of finances. In
addressing these issues, organizers will restore confidence in chapters around the world
that was lost in negative critiques of the global network, which has not been involved in
local chapters’ frontline work.
Local chapters that have signed the statement include Philadelphia, Pa.; Washington,
D.C.; Chicago, Ill.; Hudson Valley, NY; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Denver,
Colo.; Vancouver, Washington; San Diego, Calif.; and New Jersey.
As the group works to determine the next steps, organizers encourage supporters to
organize with and donate directly to their local chapters, which represent the frontline of
the movement. They also invite former chapters to reconnect and join the push for
greater transparency and accountability needed to support the ongoing fight for
Read the full statement here