Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, resigns amid controversy.
On Thursday, the embattled co-founder of Black Lives Matter announced her resignation as executive director in the face of criticism over her extravagant lifestyle.
Patrisse Cullors, 37, who has led the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation for nearly six years, announced her departure to pursue a book and television deal.
Friday is her last day with the foundation.
“I’ve established the infrastructure and support, as well as the necessary bones and foundation, to enable me to depart,” Cullors explained. “It appears as though the time is right.”
However, her resignation comes amid a controversy surrounding the group’s finances and Cullors’ personal wealth — including an alleged real estate buying spree in which she purchased four high-end homes in the United States for $3.2 million, according to property records reported last month.
However, Cullors stated that her departure has been planned and is unrelated to those “attacks.”
“Those were right-wing attacks designed to discredit my character, and I am not motivated by what the right believes about me,” Cullors explained.
The BLM foundation disclosed in February that it raised slightly more than $90 million last year in response to the May 2020 murder of George Floyd, a Black man whose final breaths beneath the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer sparked global protests.
The foundation reported a balance of more than $60 million at the end of 2020, despite spending nearly a quarter of its assets on operating expenses, grants to Black-led organizations, and other charitable giving.
The foundation’s critics argue that a greater portion of that money should have gone to families of Black victims of police brutality who have been unable to access the resources necessary to cope with their trauma and loss.
“That is the most tragic aspect,” said the Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, president of an Oklahoma City BLM chapter and a representative of the #BLM10, a national coalition of organizers who have publicly criticized the foundation’s funding and transparency practices.
“I’m aware that some of (the families’) feelings are being exploited, their pain exploited, and that is not something with which I wish to be associated,” Dickerson said.
Cullors and the foundation have stated publicly that they support families without disclosing dollar amounts.