The father of Michael Brown, the teenager who was killed by a white police officer in August 2014 and whose death sparked the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, has called upon the organization to provide him and other local activists with $20 million, after the organization revealed it had raised over $90 million in 2020.
Michael Brown Sr., along with other activists from Ferguson, Missouri, helped to launch the Black Lives Matter movement. They are demanding the $20 million from Black Lives Matter to help their community.
“Where is all that money going?” asked Brown Sr. in a press release from the International Black Freedom Alliance. “How could you leave the families who are helping the community without any funding?”
“We’re not asking for a handout, but for the funding to keep the movement strong where it began,” said Tory Russell, a Ferguson activist and co-founder of the International Black Freedom Alliance, per the New York Post.
The press release claimed that the funds would be used in part to build a community centre in honor of the deceased Michael Brown.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation provided a so-called impact report to the Associated Press in February, offering a financial snapshot of its income. In its release, the organization claimed to be building infrastructure to catch up to the speed of its funding and plans to use the endowment to become known for more than just protests.
“We want to uplift Black joy and liberation, not just Black death. We want to see Black communities thriving, not just surviving,” read the report.
The AP writes:
The foundation said it committed $21.7 million in grant funding to official and unofficial BLM chapters, as well as 30 Black-led local organizations. It ended 2020 with a balance of more than $60 million, after spending nearly a quarter of its assets on the grant funds and other charitable giving.
In its report, the BLM foundation said individual donations via its main fundraising platform averaged $30.76. More than 10% of the donations were recurring. The report does not state who gave the money in 2020, and leaders declined to name prominent donors.
Last year, the foundation’s expenses were approximately $8.4 million — that includes staffing, operating and administrative costs, along with activities such as civic engagement, rapid response and crisis intervention.