News Story

‘Diatribe’ has no complaints with big government check

Lansing awards $3.5 million to art organization disrupting ‘historical system of oppression’

The Michigan Legislature has granted $3.5 million in public funds to The Diatribe, a social justice organization given non-profit status in 2018. The money is a “community enhancement grant” included in the 2024 state budget. The explanation given for the hand-out is to provide “for capital investment at the organization’s headquarters.”

The Diatribe is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.The organization’s website is “to use restorative art to disrupt historical systems of oppression by reimagining education.” It was granted tax-exempt status in 2018 according to GuideStar.

The organization’s website and social media emphasize that it caters to “Black, Brown and the LGBTQ” communities. “We know that Black and Brown residents have been displaced through predatory lending, increasing rent prices, and lack of infrastructure resources across the United States. It’s also happening in our own neighborhoods.”

The Diatribe offers classroom content via download. This information is for teachers and students, the website eplains, and it includes sections on “Poetry Empowered,” “Deluxe Assemblies” (stage presentations), and “Writing to Right Wrongs.” ,

“Designed to give students a safe space to speak about issues that impact their lives, the content is unique and inspiring and features work by Black, Brown, and LGBTQ artists,” according to the ‘Our Identities’ content tab. The organization says its content “meets ELA and Social Emotional Learning standards.”

Spectrum Health, Frey Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Steelcase Foundation and several other organizations are listed as sponsors of The Diatribe.

The Diatribe did not response to an email seeking comment.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.