The embattled co-founder of Bl-ack Liv-es Matt** announced on Thursday that she’s resigning as executive director amid c!itic*sm over her lavish lifestyle. Patrisse Cullors, 37 — who has been at the helm of the Bla-ck Li-ves Matt** Global Network Foundation for nearly six years — said she is leaving to focus on a book and TV deal.
Her last day with the foundation is Friday. “I’ve created the infrast-ructure and the support, and the necessary bones and foundation, so that I can leave,” Cullors said. “It feels like the time is right.” But her resignation comes amid co*trov-ersy over the group’s finances and Cullors’ personal wealth — including an alleged real-estate buying spree in which she snagg-ed four hi*h-end homes for $3.2 million in the US, according to property records reported last month.
But Cullors said her departure has been in the works and is not tied to those “a*ta*ks.” “Those were right-wing *tta*ks that tr-ied to discredit my character, and I don’t operate off of what the right thinks about me,” Cullors said.
The BLM foundation revealed in February that it took in just over $90 million last year, following the May 2020 murder of George Floyd, a african- american man whose last breaths under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer inspired p*ot-ests globally. The foundation said it ended 2020 with a balance of more than $60 million, after spending nearly a quarter of its assets on operating expenses, grants to Bla-ck-led organizations and other charitable giving.
Critics of the foundation contend more of that money should have gone to the families of Bl-ack v!cti*s of police br-utality who have been unable to access the resources needed to deal with their trauma and l-oss.
“That is the most tra!ic aspect,” said the Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, president of an Oklahoma City BLM chapter and a representative of the #BLM10, a national group of organizers that has publicly criticized the foundation over funding and transparency. “I know some of (the families) are feeling exploited, their pain exploited, and that’s not something that I ever want to be affil-iated with,” Dickerson said.
Cullors and the foundation have said they do support families without making public announcements or disclosing dollar amounts.