black girls code filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing its founder Kimberly BryantThe nonprofit’s website, which was removed from its role as board member and chief executive earlier this month, has “hijacked” the non-profit’s website.
The center of the complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, is overly control over the Black Girls Code website. The complaint alleges that Bryant “committed a series of improper actions following his termination, including unlawful hijacking of the BGC website and redirecting site visitors to his website, making a number of false and misleading statements.”
The lawsuit is the latest in an intense legal and corporate battle between Bryant, who created the nonprofit in 2011 to diversify the coding landscape, and the board it appointed. Bryant filed his federal lawsuit on August 11 alleging wrongful suspension and conflict of interest by board member Heather Hills.
In this lawsuit filed Monday, BGC alleged that its domains — which include blackgirlscode.com, blackgirlscode.org, blackgirlscode.site and blackgirlscode.net — all redirect to saveblackgirlscode.com by the time of publication. That website provides a memo with details of Bryant’s federal lawsuit above, including contact information for his attorney.
Bryant declined to comment on the new set of allegations when reached for comment.
The problems first surfaced in December 2021 when Bryant says he was denied access to his email, which he eventually learned was the result of his board being indefinitely suspended from the nonprofit . At the time, the board told Meczyki that Bryant had been placed on administrative paid leave to review complaints against him.
The board’s allegation – reinforced by multiple interviews conducted by Meczyki with former BGC employees – that Bryant misrepresented a staff member and created a toxic work environment. Bryant has denied these allegations. The board told Meczyki in December that it would set up a special committee to investigate the above allegations, but declined to provide a specific timeline.
Bryant would lose his job after eight months.
Black Girls Code ended Bryant on August 12. Bryant tweeted in response, saying he was “wrongfully removed” and “given an opportunity to participate in the vote for no reason or these actions.”
A few days later, she tweeted that she had not been offered any severance, health support or vacation pay, which she is then entitled to by law in California, where BGC is located.
“Sounds like vengeance?” She tweeted about the lack of severance, A spokeswoman for the Black Girls Code said Bryant was paid her earned leave in accordance with California law, but declined to comment on her severance and health support charges.
In a statement to Meczyki last week, a spokesperson for Black Girls Code said the group “considers the decision to remove Ms. Bryant as CEO and as a board member is in the best interest of the organization, serving girls.” BGC has focused its efforts to grow and expand on the success of the organization since its inception. The same spokesperson sent a newly filed complaint earlier today.
Meczyki was unable to access the Black Girls Code website last week when the non-profit Tweeted that its website is down, The complaint offers a different angle on the matter: “Since he was placed on paid leave in December, Bryant has (among other things) refused to relinquish control of BGC’s assets and assets, including administrative credentials, on the BGC’s website.” have sought damages to the BGC, claiming and treating them as their own despite the apparent ownership of the organisation.”
The nonprofit claims that Bryant’s conduct violates federal and state statutes and “has caused irreparable harm to BGC’s operations and mission in the community.” The alleged takeover wouldn’t be entirely unusual: Marceau Michel, the founder of Black Founders Matter, cut off access to the website of his firm associates when he was being asked to resign. The team eventually created new emails, designed a new website, and rebranded to an entirely new fund.
In the complaint, BGC says the website was managed and controlled by the nonprofit, but alleges that Bryant used his daughter’s email account when he first created the website in 2011. “Such control conferring on the person or persons the ability to change, remove or otherwise. change the content, functioning or existence of the website,” the lawsuit reads.
The Black Girls Code complaint says the nonprofit is “taking action to restore its web presence” and is using its Twitter account for correspondence in the meantime. The nonprofit claims it has served more girls this summer than ever before, and has “never been in a stronger position.”
In the trial, the BGC sought trial by jury. A BGC spokesperson declined to provide further comment.