A conservative-led group, the American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER), has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund that invests in women of color business owners.
The man behind the recent historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling to exclude the consideration of race in college admissions has set his sights on a Black woman-led venture capital firm.
Edward Blum leads the nonprofit American Alliance for Equal Rights, which is suing The Fearless Fund, launched in 2019 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Arian Simone, corporate business strategy executive Ayana Parsons and actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, according to Yahoo! Finance.
The nonprofit is suing the fund for allegedly practicing unlawful racial discrimination. The claim states that the firm is “violating Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, a U.S. law barring racial bias in private contracts, by making only Black women eligible in a grant competition.”
Filed in Atlanta the lawsuit specifically targets the Fearless Strivers Grant Contest which awarded $20,000 and digital tools for Black woman-owned businesses. The fund also offers mentorship opportunities in partnership with Mastercard.
According to the company’s website, The Fearless Fund’s mission is “to bridge the gap in venture capital funding for women of color founders building scalable, growth aggressive companies.”
Reuters reported that Blum and 60 members of his group, who are white and Asian American, “have been excluded from the grant program due to their race.” The report adds that the suit is the first of many that Blum has planned against private corporations.