Report: BLM Sent Canadian Charity $6.3M for Toronto Mansion Janaya Future Khan. (John Phillips/Getty for BoF VOICES)
By Charles Kim | Saturday, 29 January 2022 06:46 PM
Black Lives Matter last July transferred $6.3 million to a Canadian-based nonprofit group headed by the wife of BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors for the purchase of a 10,000-square-foot Toronto mansion that used to serve as the headquarters for the Canadian Communist Party, according to public records reviewed by the New York Post.
The organization transferred funds from its Black Lives Matter Global Network charity to its Canadian affiliate charity, M4BJ, for the property. M4BJ, based in Toronto, was set up by Janaya Khan, Khan-Cullors' wife, and other Canadian activists.
The revelation comes as the organization is under increased scrutiny for its lack of financial transparency. Khan-Cullors resigned last May following reports she used $3.2 million in donation money to buy homes in Georgia and Los Angeles – a claim she denies – and a Washington Examiner investigative report published last week said its unclear who manages BLM's $60 million bankroll.
Khan-Cullors appointed two activists to run the foundation, but both refused to take on the roles.
In a September 2021 statement, the women, Monifa Bandele and Makani Themba, said they could not come to an agreement as to the "scope of work" and the authority they would have as co-executives for the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
"We Wish (the foundation) the best and hope that someday soon there will be established a leadership structure that draws on the strengths of Black Lives Matter’s Grassroots Network, the entity where its organizing work resides, their joint statement posted to Twitter said at the time.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation was started in 2013 by Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi following the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., by George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder in the case.
The group's aim was to "build local power and to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes," according to the Influence Watch website.
The organization’s Canadian chapter is based in the Toronto mansion along with its affiliated M4BJ Canadian charity and the Wildseed Centre, which is a non-profit "committed to the eradication of anti-Black racism. We are a trans feminist, queer affirming organization politically aligned with supporting Black liberation work across Canada," according to the organization.
The Centre "is a vessel that seeks to nurture Black radical creation in Toronto and beyond. Inspired by Octavia Butler’s evocative novel, this artist-run Centre aims to be fertile ground for Black creativity and organizing," according to its website.
The lack of transparency regarding the organization’s finances have led two senior organization members that resigned last month to criticize its operations.
"For BLM Canada to take money from BLM Global Network for a building without consulting the community was unethical," former member Sarah Jama said in a tweet earlier this month. "For BLM Canada to refuse to answer questions from young black organizers goes against the spirit of movement building."