The Black Lives Matter organization is saying good-bye to one of the women who started the whole thing! Co-founder and executive director Patrisse Cullors announced Thursday that she is stepping down from her role to make room for a new generation of leadership and to focus on her own television and book deal.
“With smart, experienced and committed people supporting the organization during this transition, I know that BLMGNF is in good hands,” Cullors said in a statement. “The foundation’s agenda remains the same–eradicate white supremacy and build life-affirming institutions.”
Patrisse’s last day with the foundation is Friday.
“I’ve created the infrastructure and the support and the necessary bones and foundation, so that I can leave,” she said. “It feels like the time is right.”
While Patrisse notes that she laid the foundation for the organization so she could eventually leave, she also addresses controversy regarding her personal wealth and rumors of ‘misused’ organization funds. Previous reports alleged Patrisse purchased large amounts of real estate with money from BLM.
“Those were right-wing attacks that tried to discredit my character, and I don’t operate off of what the right wing thinks about me,” Cullors said.
Cullors told The Associated Press she will be focusing on the upcoming release of her second book and a multi-year TV development deal with Warner Bros following her departure from the foundation. She also noted that her resignation has been in the works for more than a year.
During the seven years she dedicated to Black Lives Matter, Patrisse was responsible for forming the political action committee which helped the organization donate almost $25 million to Black-led groups. She also led the movement in advocating for federal legislation to defund the police department.
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