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A conversation with Patrisse Cullors

Patrisse Cullors opens up to Into America about leadership and accountability, as well as the allegations plaguing her role with the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.

About this episode:

It’s been almost ten years since the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing Trayvon Martin, sparked the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in 2013. A year later, the police killing of Michael Brown turned the hashtag into a movement. Then in 2020, the world witnessed the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and Black Lives Matter exploded into a global phenomenon.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protest, and as activists took center stage, people donated millions of dollars to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. But it’s been a turbulent ride. In 2021, when it was announced that the foundation had received $90 million in funding, many local BLM chapters and families of victims of police violence, started calling for more support and financial transparency. And a recent New York Magazine article unveiled that the foundation spent $6 million on a Los Angeles home which triggered new accusations of mishandling of funds.

This week on Into America, Trymaine Lee speaks with Patrisse Cullors, one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the former executive director of the BLM Global Network Foundation. After the national foundation received an influx of money, Cullors became the face of the foundation. Now she’s under fire from right-wing media, as well as other movement leaders, who are questioning her leadership and financial decisions. Cullors admits that she has made some mistakes, but she maintains that she has done nothing wrong. So she’s sitting down with Into America to talk about what accountability means to her, and how she plans to move forward with the lessons she’s learned.

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