A Black Lives Matter charity partnership with IDEX is being applauded by some and has angered others. About three years ago, after it was announced that George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, was acquitted in Florida, thousands of people mainly African-Americans flooded the streets in protest.
The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter popped up on social media, and a very energetic and sometimes controversial movement was born. Black Lives Matter grew nationally and organized demonstrations following the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and many other black men and women. Most of those people died while or after being arrested.
The creators of the hashtag – Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi – expanded their project into a national network of over 30 local chapters during 2014–16 and were able to influence Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and even former Republican presidential candidate John Kasich.
The group is now in the news after it was revealed that it has quietly established a legal partnership with International Development Exchange, also known as IDEX, a San Francisco, California charity.
According to reports, International Development Exchange now manages the financial aspect of the movement. The founders of MLB are focused on expanding the movement and organizing whenever they see unarmed black men facing injustices. According to reports:
“Since November, the nonprofit charity also known as IDEX has been acting as a mostly unseen financial arm of Black Lives Matter, with the ability to receive grants and tax-deductible donations on the group’s behalf. More recently, the relationship evolved into a contractual partnership that will run through at least mid-2017.”
IDEX Executive Director Rajasvini Bhansali said:
“We completely understand the network is in its baby stages, and it’s going to take some years.
The goal, is to jointly seek social change in struggling communities in the U.S., as well as in Asia, South America, and Africa, where the charity has operated for years.”
The report goes on to say:
“The partnership links the national protest movement, which has chapters in nearly 40 U.S. cities and several more abroad, with a small charity that has worked with the needy on several continents. IDEX collected about $2 million in contributions and grants in the year ending June 2015, according to federal tax records.”
Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza said in a statement:
“We’ve connected people across the country working to end the various forms of injustice impacting black people. The organization needed to partner with an organization that “can support us as we build these connections on a global scale.”
Black Lives Matter, which has received millions of dollars in donations and pledges, is now focusing on reforms such as remaking the prison system, adopting universal health care, and offering free college education.