How to equitably resolve the Black Lives Matter funding scandal using Ethereum: a lesson for future movements.

Micah White, PhD
8 min readMar 7, 2021

A funding scandal is about to engulf the Black Lives Matter movement, a diverse informal network of activists, NGOs, foundations and unaffiliated protesters who are behind the civil rights protests of our era.

The kindling for the eruption was laid in a recent Associated Press article entitled: “AP Exclusive: Black Lives Matter opens up about its finances.” The article revealed that The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation raised $90 million in 2020. This significant sum understandably surprised many activists in the diffuse movement that began many years ago and recently experienced a rebirth during the George Floyd protests.

Some grassroots activists in Ferguson are not surprised—they are angry. Most prominently, the father of Mike Brown and other early organizers in the initial Ferguson protests that first manifested the Black Lives Matter meme in the streets demanded that the The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation give them $20 million in compensation.

Here’s an article about their demand and the video they posted:

It’s too early to tell whether the BLM funding scandal will simmer down into suppressed resentments or boil over into an uncivil conflict.

And there is really no value in adopting a partisan position and blaming one side or the other. Truthfully, both sides are right. Activism takes a toll on a person: creators, founders and early movement participants all deserve to be rewarded and compensated.

Moreover, it is not reasonable to critique activists who acquire resources. It is obvious that resources allow for different kinds of activism to be attempted. And if any activist is given the opportunity to have a foundation with $90 million in assets then they should be encouraged by the movement to test out their theory of change.

Micah White, PhD

Known for co-creating Occupy Wall Street. I change the world by changing protest. Learn more at and