Blacks Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors is tied to a social justice nonprofit that failed to disclose hundreds of thousands in donations, according to a new report.
Dignity and Power Now is a self-described "Los Angeles based grassroots organization founded in 2012 that fights for the dignity and power of all incarcerated people, their families, and communities." The nonprofit states: "Dignity and Power Now is founded and chaired by Black Lives Matter Cofounder Patrisse Khan-Cullors."
"Patrisse Cullors decided to create a performance art piece that highlighted her brother's story of being abused in the county jails while dissolving the disconnect between the conditions inside custody and the community outside," the Dignity and Power Now "about" page states. "That piece became STAINED: An Intimate Portrayal of State Violence. After a year of touring the piece around Los Angeles County it became clear that audiences wanted to do more than watch the piece – they wanted to change the county jail system."
The Dignity and Power Now/The Coalition to End Sheriff's Violence project was created in July 2012. The Dignity and Power Now nonprofit was "created to be the principle organization for a multifaceted, trauma informed, healing, motivated movement to end state violence and mass incarceration."
The New York Post reported that Dignity and Power Now group "received at least $225,000 in 2016, but told the IRS that the charity had not made more than $50,000 that year, according to public filings." The report noted that "failing to meet that revenue threshold meant that the group didn't have to file a complete federal return, which would outline all of its spending and donations."
The social justice nonprofit was given $100,000 by the Los Angeles-based Resnick Foundation, public documents reportedly show. The donation is purportedly on the Resnick Foundation's 2015 federal tax filings, which show the group's spending from October 2015 through September 2016.
The donation from the Resnick Foundation, a charity controlled by billionaire couple Stewart and Lynda Resnick. The couple have a reported combined net worth of $7.1 billion. Resnick has been the chairman and president of The Wonderful Company, which owns brands including POM Wonderful, bottled water company FIJI Water, Wonderful Pistachios, and Wonderful Almonds.
Dignity and Power Now also received $125,000 from the California Initiative in 2016, according to records.
According to tax filings, the donations were filtered through Community Partners, a nonprofit that helps administer funds for grassroots charities.
The report claims that DPN also didn't disclose the cash donations in its filings to the California attorney general, who regulates charities in the state.
"Dignity and Power Now registered with the Registry of Charitable Trusts in 2017, informing the registry that they first received funds in July of 2017," a statement from the California attorney general's office reads.
The National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, filed complaints to both the IRS and the AG in California. The group called for an audit of Dignity and Power Now's finances.
"The obvious question is what happened to the money," NLPC chairman Peter Flaherty said. "Given these circumstances, we believe that an audit is in order."
Dignity and Power Now purports to speak in the name of the disadvantaged. The IRS must ensure that no one is taking advantage."
This is the latest controversy surrounding Khan-Cullors.
Last week, Michael Brown's father joined BLM chapters who are demanding more "financial transparency" of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation raked in more than $90 million in 2020, according to the Associated Press.