Lauren Moye, FISM News
Black Lives Matter purchased a 6,500 square foot Los Angeles mansion in 2020. They have concealed this purchase ever since then, adding to concerns of donation mismanagement and the organization’s lack of transparency
The existence of the mansion – known as the Campus and containing “several fireplaces, a soundstage, a pool and bungalow, and parking for more than 20 cars, according to real-estate listings” – was exposed by New York Magazine writer Sean Campbell. It was purchased weeks after Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) received a $66.5 million donation from a fiscal sponsor and was meant to be kept a secret, according to Campbell.
At the time of the purchase in October 2020, BLMGNF leader Patrisse Cullors and her spouse, Janaya Khan, operated Janaya and Patrisse Consulting. They used their financial manager Dyane Pascall to make a cash purchase of the home. Pascall then transferred the property to a Delaware-based LLC to help preserve secrecy for the true owners.
The revelation adds to growing concerns about what the organization does with donations. In 2020, BLMGNF acknowledged receiving $90 million in donations, fueled by social activism in response to high-profile black deaths like George Floyd. The organization’s transparency and accuracy when reporting donations has been questioned, while localized activists for the organization claim the money has never been dispersed from the group’s coffers.
“This new reporting highlights just how little the public knows about BLMGNF’s operations, and the lack of transparency about what is being done with the tens of millions of dollars it raised in 2020,” Special Projects Manager Robert Stilson at the Capital Research Center told the Daily Wire.
Campbell’s report makes the third time that BLMGNF has been under fire for massive real estate purchases. Cullors was exposed by the New York Post last year for purchasing four homes, amounting to another $3.2 million. Cullors has since left her leadership position within the organization.
Additionally, BLM transferred money in July 2021 so that the Canadian chapter of the organization could purchase a different $6 million mansion; this one known to be the former headquarters of the Communist Party of Canada.
Experience with the fallout of these previous reports left the BLMGNF scrambling to create a palpable media spin before Campbell published his expose. Their official story presented to the public is that the Campus serves as a cultural center. On April 1, a statement issued by board member Shalomyah Bowers said the home will be a “housing and studio space for recipients of the Black Joy Creators Fellowship.”
The creation of this fellowship was announced a day later, designating the space and foundation for “black creatives” to make content themed on “abolition, healing justice, urban agriculture” and other activism.
Campbell, however, notes that leaked internal messages between BLM leaders reveal they were crafting this narrative “to deflate ownership of the property.” They also debated labeling the mansion as a “safe house” for BLM leaders who felt endangered, but rejected this spin because of some social media content previously filmed on site.
“The organization always planned to disclose the property,” BLMGNF board member Shalomyah Bowers told the Post on Monday, claiming it would have been listed on the Form-990 due May 15. According to Bowers, the site is used for “programming and leadership” but does not serve as a “personal residence.”