More On: Shalomyah Bowers
A lawsuit says that the new leader of the national non-profit Black Lives Matter took more than $10 million in fees from donors to pay his consulting firm.
But Shalomyah Bowers, the leader of the BLM, told The Post that the case against him is just a power grab by angry activists who want to take over the movement.
Bowers is accused of giving the money to his own Bowers Consulting Firm and taking money from a new group called Black Lives Matter Grassroots, Inc. He took over as head of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation in April.
Records show that BLM Grassroots was started three months ago. It says that it speaks for all BLM chapters in the country.
Court papers say that Walter Mosley, the lawyer who also wrote the lawsuit against Bowers, started the new group in California in May. In 2018, Mosley was Black Chyna's lawyer in a case against Kim Kardashian.
“Mr. Bowers decided he could not let go of his personal piggy bank,” BLM Grassroots charged in the lawsuit filed Thursday in the Los Angeles Superior Court. “Instead, he continued to betray the public trust by self-dealing and breaching his fiduciary duties. Instead of using the donations for its intended purposes, Mr. Bowers diverted these donations to his own coffers and intentionally took calculated steps to prevent those same resources from being used by BLM for on-the-ground-movement work.”
Federal tax forms show that the BLM Global Network Foundation paid the Bowers Consulting Firm $2,167,894 in 2021.
Bowers dismissed the lawsuit against him Saturday, telling The Post “it’s a power move by someone hellbent on achieving power and control” of the movement.
He said a group of activists, headed by California State University Pan-African Studies professor Melina Abdullah, is trying to wrest power away from the foundation’s current board of directors.
In court papers, Abdullah is said to have been "engaged in intuitive protest at the same time that the three co-founders of BLM were being active online." It’s unclear what “intuitive protest” means. Abdullah could not be reached.
“It’s the most insane thing I’ve read in a court pleading, and it’s signed under penalty of perjury when they know it’s a lie,” Bowers said, adding that the Foundation has recently undergone audits that do not show $10 million going to him or his firm.
“We are in the process of correcting things, of fixing things and dealing with disgruntled people who want to take over the group,” he added.
Bowers said that Abdullah was not on the new board when the Foundation was changed.
In April 2021, The Post reported that one of the Foundation's founders, Patrisse Cullors, spent more than $3 million on homes in Los Angeles and outside of Atlanta. This caused a lot of trouble for the Foundation. Cullors said that the donations were not where the money came from.
A month after The Post's article, Cullors quit her job at the Foundation. Later, New York magazine reported that the group secretly spent $8 million on a property in Toronto and $6 million on a huge mansion in Los Angeles.