Black Lives Matter Foundation Hosts Families in Healing Space
In a bid to dispel mystery and controversy surrounding a Los Angeles property owned by the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Inc., families mourning loved ones lost to police violence were welcomed to a healing space at the sprawling mansion. The Foundation, previously criticized for acquiring the $6 million property with donations garnered during racial justice protests in 2020, organized a dinner for over 150 guests, including those who had questioned the foundation’s fundraising practices.
The event, held during the Families United 4 Justice Network Conference in southern California, aimed to provide support and foster healing, accountability, and justice for those affected by police violence. Attendees, some of whom accused the foundation of leveraging their loved ones’ names for fundraising, were given tours of the six-bedroom property with amenities such as a swimming pool, soundstage, and office space.
Beatrice X Johnson, co-founder of Families United 4 Justice Network, described the event as “laid out, beautiful, and welcoming.” Johnson, aunt to Oscar Grant fatally shot in 2009, acknowledged the controversies surrounding the property but emphasized the families’ desire to see the space.
The Studio City home, officially named the “Creators House,” is positioned to serve as a refuge for families grieving losses due to police violence during the holiday season. Additionally, it will continue its role as a campus for the foundation’s Black artists fellowship.
Shalomyah Bowers, a board member of the BLM foundation, referred to the property as a “home for freedom,” where Black individuals’ talents can be nurtured, organizing can occur outside the confines of white supremacy, and healing takes place.
Despite facing financial scrutiny and allegations of mismanagement, the foundation defended its actions, noting that acquiring property is often lauded as a strategic investment for other organizations. The board members argued that when a Black foundation undertakes a similar move, it is unfairly criticized.
The property has been rebranded as part of a broader history where Black activists and artists create spaces of safety and liberty. Drawing parallels to historical hubs of resistance and creativity, such as the Harlem YMCA during the Harlem Renaissance, the foundation aims to showcase the property’s role in fostering activism, art, and community support. The move comes after a civil lawsuit against the foundation, filed by racial justice activists, was dismissed by a judge in June 2022. The Foundation continues to navigate challenges while framing its property as a symbol of Black activism and resilience.