Organization Trends

Tides Center Takes Control of Black Lives Matter Global Network

New public documents reveal that the Black Lives Global Network Foundation, the national overseer of 17 local chapters of the most prominent organization in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, has become a project of the Tides Center. This puts Black Lives Global Network Foundation squarely in the middle of a massive political network, with total revenues that exceeded $636 million in 2018 alone.

According to documents filed with the California Justice Department on July 10, 2020, Thousand Currents transferred control of BLM Global Network Foundation and all its assets to the Tides Center.

A Thousand Currents Project

CRC’s Robert Stilson was the first to report that the BLM Global Network Foundation is not a standalone nonprofit, but a fiscally sponsored project of Thousand Currents, a California-based organization.

Donations to the BLM Global Network Foundation end up in Thousand Currents’ coffers, which administers the group’s finances internally. As a Thousand Currents project, the group doesn’t file regular Form 990 reports with the IRS, and it does not disclose comprehensive financial data in the same way a tax-exempt nonprofit must.

While in many cases donors cannot be identified, six- and seven-figure grant totals to Thousand Currents earmarked for the BLM Global Network Foundation have been traced to a number of liberal foundations, including the NoVo Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Borealis Philanthropy.

CRC also revealed that Thousand Currents’ board of directors included Susan Rosenberg, a former member of the communist Weather Underground—which planted bombs across the United States—and convicted domestic terrorist who served a 16-year sentence in federal prison for possession of 740 pounds of unstable dynamite stolen from a Texas construction firm in 1980.

Rosenberg was described as a “human and prisoner rights advocate” on Thousand Currents’ website. Thousand Currents removed the webpage (archived) for its board shortly after CRC published Rosenberg’s connections to armed violence and terrorism.

The Tides Connection

The Tides Center specializes in “incubation,” using its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status as a shield sheltering countless activist groups while they wait to receive their own tax-exempt statuses from the IRS. One Tides spinoff is People for the American Way, infamous for its 1987 smear campaign that blocked the confirmation of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court and for protesting the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.

The Tides Center itself is a branch of the larger Tides Foundation, a leading pass-through funder and pillar of the modern activist Left. Tides was conceived in the mid-1970s as an innovative pass-through—effectively a middleman for liberal donors angling to anonymously support left-wing causes. Donors cut checks to Tides, which manages their finances in individual “savings accounts” (called donor-advised funds) until the donors indicate a final recipient for the funds. Their funds are then paid out as Tides grants, masking the original benefactors’ identities from public scrutiny.

In 2018 alone, the Tides Foundation raked in nearly $420 million and paid out $291 million in grants, nearly all to activist groups and liberal think tanks.

And Tides’ biggest donors are foundations, including George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the Hewlett Foundation (exposed for funding infiltrators in the conservative movement), the Ford Foundation, and others. Critics have dubbed the scheme “charitable money-laundering.”

A Left-Wing Creature

By formally joining the vast Tides nexus, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation plants itself squarely in the professional activist camp. Far from an organic movement of concerned grassroots volunteers, it’s clearer than ever that BLM Global Network Foundation is just another creature of left-wing politics.

Hayden Ludwig

Hayden Ludwig is the Director of Policy Research at Restoration of America. He was formerly Senior Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. Ludwig is a native of Orange County, California,…
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