The president of a prominent taxpayer-funded equity firm filtered nearly $300,000 to her husband’s law firm.
Susan Shaffer, the president of the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC), paid her husband’s law firm $282,996 between 2011 and 2019, according to tax documents reviewed by The Washington Free Beacon. Mark Shaffer is listed as the sole attorney on the MAEC’s website.
The MAEC is a Maryland-based equity nonprofit that is almost entirely funded by American taxpayer dollars. The president of the organization has raked in $1.6 million for her work since 2011. The consortium has lucrative deals with some of the nation’s most prominent school districts as well.
In November, the Montgomery County Public School district in Maryland, one of the nation’s most prestigious public school districts, shelled out $454,680 to the MAEC for an “anti-racist audit” intended to create “equitable outcomes for every student’s academic and social-emotional well-being.”
The organization touts a handful of left-leaning education partnerships including the Southern Poverty Law Center’s educational arm “Learning for Justice.” “Learning for Justice,” formerly known as “Teaching Tolerance,” advocates for students to begin learning about slavery in kindergarten.
According to the MAEC’s most recent financial filings, the group spent $1.6 million on “equity projects,” $233,00 on “family engagement” projects intended to build partnerships among schools and parents, and another $74,000 on “youth projects.” Other financial filings revealed that the group raised $19 million over its existence, $17 million of which has come from taxpayer dollars.
Top leadership received high-paying salaries as well. Shaffer received more than $200,000 in yearly compensation and the company’s vice president, Maria Del Rosario Basterra, collected more than $140,000 in compensation.
According to the “COVID bailout tracker,” the MAEC received a $202,229 check from the Paycheck Protection Program.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, the consortium has also hired Shaffer’s son, child psychologist Dr. Seth Shaffer to provide support for families during the coronavirus pandemic.
In September 2020, President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning federal contractors from teaching critical race theory or any theories that are “rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country.”
Despite those provisions, which have since been repealed by the Biden administration, the Department of Education was contracted with the MAEC which has overt ties to critical race theory.
The MAEC is among an abundance of individuals and companies who have profited from the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion industry following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. These organizations sell their services to schools and institutions to help them become acceptably “anti-racist,” while many are owned and operated by white people.
Many charge exorbitant prices for training sessions. Equity Leaders, an “equity” organization that trained K-12 superintendents across the nation, charges $1,150 for a 60-minute session, $1,550 for a 90-minute session, $1,950 for a 120-minute session, and $3,900 for a “half-day” session. The organization also offers a $21,000 “equity-focused leadership program” delivered over six months.
The nation’s most controversial equity trainer, Robin DiAngelo, charges $30,000 for a 60-90 minute keynote speech and $40,000 for a “half-day” event.
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