Mike Brown’s father, Ferguson organizers request $20M from BLM

Tory Russell, co-founder of the International Black Freedom Alliance and Mike Brown Sr. have requested the funding for their community.

Loading the player...

Mike Brown Sr. and local community organizer Tony Russell have demanded the Black Lives Matter organization provide $20M to continue their work in Ferguson, Missouri.

Read More: Ferguson elects Ella Jones as its first Black mayor

Russell, who co-founded the International Black Freedom Alliance appeared next to Brown Sr. in a video expanding on their official statement. The IBFA released a series of images and videos via Twitter that clarifies their mission and their reasoning for asking BLM to provide the money.

According to the Twitter thread, Brown Sr. has only received $500 from any BLM affiliated group since his son’s 2014 killing, despite being a community figure who organizes and supports other families in healing and empowerment.

The demand is in response to news of BLM receiving over $90M in response to the uprisings launched after the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others.

“On behalf of many activists in the St. Louis area, I’m joined by Mike Brown Sr., the father of Mike Brown Jr. Today, we hold Black Lives Matter accountable,” Russell announced in the video.

Mike Brown theGrio.com
Women in Ferguson, Missouri hold signs during a protest of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

As theGrio reported, Black Lives Matter ended the year 2020 with a balance of more than $60M, opening up about their finances for the first time. BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors said their goal is to reinvest the money.

“One of our biggest goals this year is taking the dollars we were able to raise in 2020 and building out the institution we’ve been trying to build for the last seven and a half years,” she said, according to the report.

Several chapters of BLM across the country have expressed their desire for transparency regarding fundraising in the organization. Cullors responded that things behind-the-scenes are not what people may assume.

“Because the BLM movement was larger than life — and it is larger than life — people made very huge assumptions about what our actual finances looked like,” Cullors said according to theGrio. “We were often scraping for money, and this year was the first year where we were resourced in the way we deserved to be.”

Read More: Black Lives Matter receives Nobel Peace Prize nomination

According to statements revealed in the Twitter thread, organizers and activists have questioned the allocation of funds raised by BLM prior to the news reports of their financial assets.

Russell, Brown Sr. and others hope to use the money for the Chosen For Change Foundation, the Mike Brown Community Center, organizing grants for Ferguson protests and activists, various programs and services in the Black community, and the annual Aug. 9 commemorations of Brown’s death.

“Even before the article, ” the tweet stated, “Mike Brown Sr. and many Black community members have had questions about the money #BlackLivesMatter was raising.”

After the news revealed the substantial donations, Black Lives Matter launched a Survival Fund for people to apply for 3,000 microgrants of $1K. Applicants who gained approval would see the funds in their chosen method of payment with no-strings-attached theGrio reported.

“This came from a collective conversation with BLM leadership that Black folks are being hurt the most financially during the pandemic,” Cullors said, according to the report. “I believe that when you have resources, to hoard them is a disservice to the people who deserve them,” she said.

As of Feb.25, 2021, at least 300 people had been approved for grants. According to the report, one Survival Fund recipient, Kusema Thomas, was able to obtain the funds quickly.

““It reinforces some of the things that have just been natural to us as a community,” Thomas said. “It’s a point of pride, that’s connected to our history of being able to support each other. It’s how we show love.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...