BLM transferred millions to Canadian charity run by the wife of co-founder to buy mansion formerly owned by Communist Party

Despite BLM's internal strife, the transaction was made.

In a report, a Canadian organization controlled by Patrisse Cullors' wife purchased a $6.3 million Toronto estate to house an arts center with millions of dollars from Black Lives Matter.

It's been less than a year since Cullors was forced to resign due to questions about her personal real estate enterprise, and the news of the transfer of money to the Canadian organization has prompted new concerns about transparency and accountability within Black Lives Matter.

After acquiring a three-story Victorian home in Toronto's Baldwin Village, near downtown, BLM Canada stated in July 2021 that they had done so lately. The Communist Party's headquarters used to be housed in this majestic red brick building.

On Saturday, The New York Post reported that the funds to purchase the property came from Black Lives Matter, and were transferred from the global network to M4BJ - a Toronto-based non-profit set up by Janaya Khan and other Canadian activists.

Khan is the spouse of BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors.

 
The Victorian red brick mansion, which was previously home to the Communist Party, was bought by BLM over the summer and is being turned in to the Wildseed arts center
The Victorian red brick mansion, which was previously home to the Communist Party, was bought by BLM over the summer and is being turned in to the Wildseed arts center
 
 
Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of BLM, is married to Janaya Khan
Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of BLM
 
 
Janaya Khan, born in Toronto, founded the M4BJ charity and reportedly received the cash to buy the Toronto house from BLM
 is married to Janaya Khan, a Canadian activist. Khan was reportedly transferred the cash from BLM to buy the Toronto mansion used to house the arts center 
 

'A black, queer, gender-nonconforming activist (pronouns: they, them, theirs), strong Afrofuturist, and social-justice educator who gives an enlightened point of view on police brutality and institutional racism,' says a speakers' website about Khan, who was born in Toronto.

 
Khan is one of Canada's most high-profile activists
Khan is one of Canada's most high-profile activists
 

Having tied the knot in 2016, Khan and Cullors now have a family of their own.

Due to a $3.2 million property empire, Alicia Cullors resigned as executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network in May 2021.

Before or after Cullors stepped down, it's not clear whether the money was moved from BLMGN to M4BJ before to or after Cullors' departure.

A request for comment from DailyMail.com has gone unanswered by BLM Canada or Khan.

The Wildseed Centre for Art and Activism is situated at 24 Cecil Street.

Khan does not appear on the site's executive or personnel roster.

"A vessel that aspires to nourish Black radical creativity in Canada," Wildseed states on its website.

Wildseed was founded by Black Lives Matter activists who saw a need to create a long-lasting venue where radical ideas from Toronto's different Black communities could be nurtured, according to the website.

This is the type of place we wanted we had when we started the protests that profoundly transformed this city, and we hope Wildseed can be that kind of space via booking opportunities, partnerships, and art scholarships.

 
Khan founded the M4BJ charity, which purchased the house used to create the arts center
Khan founded the M4BJ charity, which purchased the house used to create the arts center
 

The city of Toronto has provided the Wildseed Centre with $250,000 CAN ($195,000) for capital upgrades, said Councillor Mike Layton, who represents the district in which the mansion sits.   

Sandy Hudson, the co-founder of BLM Canada, told CBC News in the summer that the center was vital for their work.

Because of the space's permanency and size, diverse kinds of groups may convene here to form a cohesive whole. It's going to be a huge transition for Black Toronto and Black Canada,' she said.

But the revelation of the center's funding comes at a bad moment for BLM.

During the course of this past week, charity auditors raised worry about the administration of Black Lives Matter's $60 million in contributions, when it emerged that those who had been named as leaders never took up the position, and no one appeared able to tell who was managing the funds.

The most recent tax filing for the charity, from 2019, gives an address in Los Angeles that does not exist, and the two remaining BLM directors identified by The Washington Examiner were not able to assist - with one even scrubbing BLM associations from his social media after he was contacted by the paper. 

BLM might be punished by the IRS if they don't submit a Form 990 for 2020, which they haven't done yet.

"The results are highly alarming and they should have submitted their 2020 form by now," said Laurie Styron, executive director of CharityWatch.

In her words, it was "like a gigantic phantom ship full of wealth... sailing in the night with no obvious captain, crew... and clear course."

Paul Kamenar, attorney for the National Legal and Policy Center, described the situation as 'grossly improper' and called for a complete examination.

Cullors (pictured) co-founded BLM in July 2013 with Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza. She left the group in May 2021

Cullors (pictured) co-founded BLM in July 2013 with Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza. She left the group in May 2021

 
Cullors, Garza and Tometi (left to right) co-founded the group, but Garza and Tometi left, leaving Cullors in charge as executive director
Cullors, Garza and Tometi (left to right) co-founded the group, but Garza and Tometi left, leaving Cullors in charge as executive director 
 
 

After a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Cullors helped launch the Black Lives Matter movement in July 2013.

In what she dubbed a love letter to black people, Oakland activist Alicia Garza wrote: 'Our lives count'

Friends of Garza responded with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in response to Cullors' tweet.

As a result, Opal Tometi, a New York City anti-racism activist, began using the phrase in a digital network of organizers and activists.

There is no longer any connection between the network and Garza and Tometi, and during the George Floyd demonstrations, Cullors was the network's face and leader.

Thousand Currents, a non-profit that claims to have a'mission of supporting grassroots movements working for a more fair and equitable society,' has been in charge of the organization's funds.

Organizational leaders applied for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS in the summer of 2020, which was approved in December 2020.

Cullors is seen in 2015 speaking at Harvard Law School
Cullors is seen in 2015 speaking at Harvard Law School

The classification necessitates the filing of public 990 forms, which expose information about the foundation's organizational structure, personnel remuneration, programs, and spending.

Cullors executed paperwork with Thousand Currents in September 2020, depositing $66.5 million into BLM's coffers.

In February 2021, Black Lives Matter said that it had raised $90 million in 2020, which it had allocated to partner groups, and that it still had $60 million in its coffers.

In its report, a snapshot of which was shared with AP, the BLM foundation said individual donations via its main fundraising platform averaged at $30.76 each. 

More than 10% of all gifts were recurring.

The report does not specify who provided the money in 2020, and officials have reluctant to identify notable contributors.

Expenses were around $8.4 million, which includes personnel, operational, and administrative expenditures, as well as initiatives like civic involvement, fast response, and crisis intervention.

BLM said at the time that they were disclosing the information to be more open, acknowledging that its structure and finances have previously been opaque.

However, two months later, in April 2021, reports from the National Legal and Policy Center revealed that Cullors had acquired a $3.2 million property empire.

Cullors bought this house in South Los Angeles - one of four she owns

Cullors bought this house in South Los Angeles - one of four she owns

The activist also bought a home in Conyers, Georgia

The activist also bought a home in Conyers, Georgia

 
Cullors now owns three properties in Los Angeles - including this one in the hills above the city
Cullors now owns three properties in Los Angeles - including this one in the hills above the city
 

The researchers discovered that Cullors owned four homes, three in the Los Angeles region and one outside of Atlanta.

Many BLM employees turned against Cullors, asking where she got the money. Cullors has published two novels, has a partnership with YouTube, and has inked a production agreement with Warner Bros. in 2020 to create programs 'for children, young people, and families.'

However, in the midst of the uproar, she stepped down and stated that two new executive directors will be appointed: Makani Themba and Monifa Bandele.

Despite this, Themba and Bandele said in September that they had never taken up the duties due to conflicts with leadership.

'Although a media alert was issued claiming that we were selected to serve as senior co-executives at BLMGN, we were unable to reach an agreement with the acting Leadership Council over our scope of work and authority,' they said in a statement.

'As a consequence, we didn't have the chance to serve in this role.'

Themba and Bandele said that they had no idea who was currently in charge of BLM since their conversations had never advanced.

 
Makani Themba was announced as a director of BLM in May 2021, but never agreed terms and never took the job
Makani Themba
 
 
Monifa Bandele was also named a BLM director, but like Themba did not take the job
 and Monifa Bandele were announced as directors of BLM in May 2021, but never agreed terms and never took the job
 
 

Two other people remained on the board, after Cullors' departure - Shalomyah Bowers and Raymond Howard, according to undated documents obtained by The Washington Examiner.

Bowers served as the treasurer for multiple activist organizations run by Cullors, The Washington Examiner reported, including BLM PAC and a Los Angeles-based jail reform group that paid Cullors $20,000 a month and spent nearly $26,000 on 'meetings' at a luxury Malibu beach resort in 2019.

Bowers has not commented on the status of the $60 million in BLM coffers.

Howard also declined to comment when contacted by the Telegraph, and has now removed references to his employment with 'an international social justice group' from his LinkedIn profile.

BLMGN's tax forms for 2019 show a location in Los Angeles that does not exist; when a reporter from The Washington Examiner went to a similar address with the same zip code, a security guard noted that many people make the same error, but there was no BLM presence in the building.

'In response to your request for a copy of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation's 2020 Form 990, we want to advise you that at this moment we do not operate a permanent office,' an anonymous BLM representative informed the daily via email.

According to Kamenar, his monitoring organization thinks BLM should be subjected to a "complete audit."

'Bottom line: There is a lot of suspicious financial activity, organizational structure, bookkeeping location, and so on,' Kamenar added.

The BLM has yet to reply to USA GAG's request for comment.

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