Black Lives Matter executives accused of ‘siphoning’ $10 million from BLM donors, lawsuit says

The lawsuit is against Shalomiya Bowers executives, the foundation itself, Bowers’ consulting firm, and an unnamed individual.

Bowers was hired by BLM Co-Founder Patrice Cullors In 2020, the suit said, to help run the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (GNF), an extension of Black Lives Matter’s grassroots organization.
Bowers denied the allegations leveled in the lawsuit presented by BLM Grassroots at a press conference last week, Statement posted on BLM website The accusations are “harmful, divisive, and false.”

Although the GNF was originally established by the Cullors “as a governing body to raise funds to provide financial support for BLM grassroots community activities at the local level”, the BLM grassroots organization does not operate “on the ground”. performed

Cullors initially oversaw GNF, but in May 2021, “she could no longer lead GNF and decided to downsize the entire organization and transition to BLM Grassroots,” the lawsuit states. increase.

That same month, Cullors informed Bowers and Melina Abdullah of a “formal transition plan” for GNF leadership and other internal leaders. Abdullah is the co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of BLM.

In a statement posted on BLM’s site, Bowers was outraged at the recollection of the event. “BLMGR and Melina Abdullah have read a press statement claiming that Patrisse Cullors has created a transition plan to transfer all assets of her BLMGNF to her BLM Grassroots. It is absolutely false,” he said Bowers. says Mr.

“Mr. Bowers and the GNF Leadership Council have agreed to implement the transition plan laid out by Mr. Cullors,” the complaint reads. “But from GNF he earned $2,167.894 billion in less than eight months, Mr. Bowers decided he wanted to keep the ‘piggy bank’ that GNF had brought to him and his company.

Bowers was also supposed to disclose certain financial and organizational information of other leaders in the group, which the lawsuit alleges he “refused” to do.

“Within months, Bowers kicked these esteemed supporters out of the organization,” the lawsuit claims. “Through a series of misrepresentations and unauthorized backroom deals, Mr. Bowers succeeded in stealing control of his GNF as sole director and officer.”

The lawsuit also alleges that Bowers changed the passwords of the grassroots organization’s social media accounts and “attempted to register the BLM grassroots trademark using the logo and design of BLM grassroots leader Angela Waters. The logo was stolen.” “I think it’s already,” he said. Or prevent BLM grassroots from exploiting. ”

The BLM grassroots organization said in a lawsuit that Bowers siphoned the money.

“Mr. Bowers continues to fraudulently raise funds from unsuspecting donors by impersonating organizations that do BLM’s work, stuffing his own pockets into those of his peers at the expense of BLM’s reputation.

The organization’s grassroots organization arm is seeking a jury trial, accusing Mr. Bowers of allegations including unfair business practices, fraud and willful misrepresentation.

CNN reached out to Bowers through him. consulting company It’s Sunday and no reply.
Since then, GNF has responded to the complaint. in a statement say it:

“The BLMGNF board has requested personal mediation or meetings with Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots more than 10 times, including social media policy. rather than becoming a victim of the logic of death and societal violence that fuels the legal system.

“However, Melina Abdullah and BLMGR have ignored or rejected our offers. On the contrary, they would rather take the same measures as our white oppressors and commit criminal law underpinned by white supremacy. We would like to use the system (the same system they want to dismantle) ) to settle disputes over migration.

“In particular, Melina Abdullah and BLMGR’s storytelling about the current BLMGNF board is toxic, divisive, and deceptive. Just giving and in stark contrast to the abolitionist values ​​and the fight for black liberation.

“The BLMGNF is therefore forced to publicly respond to Melina and BLMGR’s attacks on the BLMGNF and its current leadership. Hence love, facts and what we have been focusing on over the past six months. We will respond with a spirit of transparency. Release of IRS Form 990 and our BLM Transparency Center. ”


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