Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors steps down from leadership role

28 May 2021, 12:15

Patrisse Cullors has stepped down from the Black Lives Matter network group.
Patrisse Cullors has stepped down from the Black Lives Matter network group. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

The co-founder of Black Lives Matter has stepped down from her role at the movement's foundation.

Patrisse Cullors, who has been executive director at the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) for almost six years, has said she is leaving to focus on other projects, including her second book's release and TV deal.

"I've created the infrastructure and the support, and the necessary bones and foundation, so that I can leave," Cullors told the agency.

"It feels like the time is right."

In a statement on the organisation's website, Ms Cullors praised the two new senior executives who will help run the network before a permanent team is found.

The network says its mission is to "eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes".

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They are Makani Themba, Chief Strategist at Higher Ground Change Strategies, and Monifa Bandele, Chief Operating Officer at Time's Up Foundation.

"With smart, experienced and committed people supporting the organisation during this transition, I know that BLMGNF is in good hands," Ms Cullors said.

"The foundation's agenda remains the same — eradicate white supremacy and build life-affirming institutions.

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"Between the two Senior Executives and BLM Grassroots Co-Director Melina Abdullah, who is an original member of BLM and co-founder of its first chapter in Los Angeles, their immense talent will build a future where Black lives do more than matter — they will truly thrive."

Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 and has grown massively in influence, becoming especially prominent globally after the murder of George Floyd.

The BLMGNF said among Ms Cullors' achievements were championing law that divests taxpayer money from discriminatory policing, donating nearly 25 million USD to black-led organisations and families, and supporting people affected by police violence.