Conservative Group Files Lawsuit Against Venture Capital Fund That Offers Help to Black Women-Owned Businesses – The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
With the white sheets removed, the hoods now off, and the dog whistles as overt as they were during Jim Crow and the struggle for civil rights in the mid-20th century, a conservative group that spearheaded the Supreme Court’s overturning of affirmative action now has set its sights on Black women. Edward Blum, a conservative activist, founded the American Alliance for Equal Rights nonprofit, which has filed a lawsuit against Fearless Fund, an Atlanta-based venture capital fund.
The lawsuit alleges that Fearless Fund “is engaging in unlawful racial discrimination by restricting eligibility for its grant competition to only Black women entrepreneurs.” The legal action cited the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and was filed in federal Court in Atlanta. Fearless Fund, established in 2019 by prominent Black women, including Cosby Show actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, entrepreneur Arian Simone, and corporate executive Ayana Parsons, aims to support and empower Black women who own small businesses. Notable investors in the fund include Bank of America, Costco Wholesale, General Mills, Mastercard, and JPMorgan Chase.
The lawsuit reportedly marks Blum’s first legal challenge since his organization’s victory in the Supreme Court in June. The Court rejected affirmative action in collegiate admissions, ruling against race-conscious student admissions policies used by institutions like Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.
Blum’s group had argued that such policies unfairly discriminated against white and Asian American applicants. Blum’s lawsuit focuses on Fearless Fund’s “Fearless Strivers Grant Contest,” which provides $20,000 in grants, digital tools, and mentorship opportunities to Black women business owners.
The American Alliance for Equal Rights claims that white and Asian American members of their organization have been excluded from the grant program solely based on race. Fearless Fund has yet to respond to the allegations. In an interview with Reuters, Blum stated that the lawsuit is just the beginning of his efforts to challenge race-based policies used by private corporations through the American Alliance for Equal Rights.
He said he aims to build upon the success of the cases against Harvard and UNC, filed by his organization, Students for Fair Admissions, which led to the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in June. “The common theme of these organizations is to challenge in the courts the use of racial classifications and preferences in our nation’s policies,” Blum said, as reported by Reuters.