Response from BLMGNF’s Lawyer to Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots Lawsuit

The allegation in the September 1, 2022 complaint filed by Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots that Shalomyah Bowers and Bowers Consulting Firm siphoned more than $10 million of donors’ money from Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is completely false. Either Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots blatantly and intentionally lied with this allegation in order to garner salacious news headlines, or they simply failed to do their due diligence before making such a wild and unfounded accusation. Either is simply unacceptable.

BLMGNF has only made payments to Bowers Consulting Firm since 2020 pursuant to its fully executed and legal contract with Bowers Consulting Firm, which was approved prior to Shalomyah joining the BLMGNF Board of Directors. This was all shown on BLMGNF’s filed IRS Form 990 and the same was released for public inspection in May of 2022 on the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Transparency Center.

However, to take BLMGNF’s transparency a step further as we work to ensure the public understands that Melina Abdullah’s claims are false, BLMGNF is also releasing its independent external audit today, which can be viewed here. An independent external auditor inspected BLMGNF’s financial accounts for accuracy and ensured fraud and abuse were not happening. As shown in the independent audit, there has been no “siphoning of money” by Shalomyah Bowers and Bowers Consulting Firm. Any news outlet that continues corroborating this falsehood is acting recklessly and not showing deference to the facts. The result of BLMGNF’s audit was that the organization’s finances are strong, healthy, and in order.

Under Shalomyah Bowers’ leadership and the work of Bowers Consulting, BLMGNF has charted a path of responsibility, including taking steps to shore up BLMGNF’s regulatory compliance, stewarding fiscal health and creating organizational and operational structure — the exact opposite of what Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots’ baseless lawsuit claims. Shalomyah Bowers, along with the other BLMGNF Board Members, are working day in and day out toward the long-term stability of BLMGNF.

Hopefully, BLM Grassroots will not continue to waste its resources on a lawsuit it is destined to lose. Their resources, which were granted to them by BLMGNF, should be used to support Black people; not a baseless lawsuit. BLMGNF looks forward to truth prevailing and the frivolous lawsuit by Melina Abdullah and BLM Grassroots being adjudicated in BLMGNF’s favor very soon.

Byron McLain
Counsel for BLMGNF