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Black Lives Matter partners with charity in sign of growth

by Take Two

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In this Sunday, July 10, 2016 file photo, people march in a Black Lives Matter rally in Oklahoma City. Black Lives Matter has quietly established a legal partnership with a California charity in a sign of the movement's growth and expanding ambition. Sue Ogrocki/AP

Black Lives Matter has teamed up with a California charity to handle its financial matters and receive grants and donations.

Michael R. Blood with the Associated Press reports that the San Francisco-based International Development Exchange’s partnership with the national Black Lives Matter movement is a sign of the movement’s growth and expanding ambition.

Here’s more from the AP story:

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 is managing the group’s financial affairs, allowing Black Lives Matter to focus on its mission, including building local chapters and experimenting with its organizational structure.

IDEX is a small charity that has worked with the needy on several continents, while Black Lives Matter has chapters in nearly 40 U.S. cities and several abroad, Blood reports. The idea is that the two organizations will together seek social change both in the U.S. and abroad.

In this photo taken Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, Rajasvini Bhansali, executive director of the International Development Exchange, also known as IDEX, poses at her office in San Francisco. IDEX is managing the Black Lives Matters' financial affairs, allowing the group to focus on its mission, including building local chapters and experimenting with its organizational structure.
In this photo taken Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, Rajasvini Bhansali, executive director of the International Development Exchange, also known as IDEX, poses at her office in San Francisco. IDEX is managing the Black Lives Matters' financial affairs, allowing the group to focus on its mission, including building local chapters and experimenting with its organizational structure. Eric Risberg/AP

Here’s more from AP on how that might look:

A key aspect of the agreement involves exchanging information and building potential alliances between Black Lives Matter and IDEX’s partners overseas. The idea is for the groups and movements to learn from each other.

Black Lives Matter has agreed to make donations to IDEX’s partners in Zimbabwe and South Africa, in lieu of an administrative fee for the charity’s services, [IDEX Executive Director Rajasvini] Bhansali said.

Part of the tie between the groups is personal: Bhansali has known Garza and fellow Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors for about a decade through their work, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area.

She said Black Lives Matter has a strong interest in learning from social and cultural movements around the globe, which makes it a natural fit with IDEX and its work in needy communities in Africa, Asia and South America, where IDEX has supported more than 500 projects since 1985.

Blood reports that the agreement is one of several steps Black Lives Matter appears to be taking in response to criticism that it lacks direction and purpose.

An umbrella group known as the Movement for Black Lives, which includes Black Lives Matter, has published a detailed agenda of goals, including channeling more money into poverty programs, raising taxes on the wealthy, obtaining reparations for past racial injustices and spending as much as $4 trillion on jobs for black workers, Blood reports.

Phil Buchanan, president of The Center for Effective Philanthropy, says when you look back at other social movements in U.S. history-- from the civil rights movement to more recent efforts for marriage equality-- "it's not surprising to see that what starts as an organic, spontaneous reaction of outrage and concern would end up taking on a more organized form over time through some kind of non-profit organization."

"As the Black Lives Matter movement gets clearer about their policy objectives," Buchanan says, "they will then need resources to pursue those objectives. And I think the backing of major foundations like the Ford Foundation [which hopes to raise $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives] and others, if that ends up coming to fruition, that could be very very powerful."

AP political writer Michael Blood and Phil Buchanan, president of The Center for Effective Philanthropy, joined Alex Cohen to discuss the story. To hear the full interview, click the blue player above.

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