BOSTON

Boston Activist Community Reacts to Fraud Charges Against Monica Cannon-Grant

People who supported the organization Violence in Boston are giving their thoughts after founder Monica Cannon-Grant was indicted on fraud charges

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With Boston activist Monica Cannon-Grant being indicted on fraud charges, people who have supported her organization are giving their thoughts Tuesday.

Cannon-Grant was the force behind citywide marches in the wake of George Floyd's death, and she was a vocal presence on television and social media. Her organization, Violence in Boston, was created to raise money to reduce violence, raise social awareness and support community causes.

"I participated in several of those marches," said Darnell Williams, the former CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts. "It was legit, and it was credible."

After someone attempted to kill Monica Cannon-Grant’s son, she quit nursing school, became an activist and started Violence in Boston Inc. to help victims of violence. Last week, the organization opened its first physical space to provide free legal and mental health assistance, a food pantry and other services for victims and families in need.

He says he was a supporter of her work, but she may have fallen victim to temptation, power and money.

"It's a very sad turn of events for someone who's worked very hard on the front line," said Williams.

But others say they saw this coming.

"Greed and ego," said community activist Jamarhl Crawford. "I think this is a very dangerous combination. I think this should be a lesson to anyone who is an activist or an organizer."

Crawford has had a longstanding feud with Cannon-Grant.

"A lot of people were warned, a lot of those people should have known better, because a lot of these people are respectable people," he said.

Monica Cannon-Grant, a figurehead in Boston's activism community, and her husband are accused of spending their nonprofit's funds on themselves.

Crawford says he was a vocal critic of Cannon-Grant and cautioned people about donating.

"I don't look at this as a moment of victory," he said. "I look at this as a tragedy, this is a woman from the community who had promise and potential."

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