Black Women-Owned Businesses: Lawsuit Targets Venture Capital Fund

A conservative group, led by Edward Blum, known for its successful effort to overturn affirmative action in the Supreme Court, has now turned its attention to Black Women-Owned Businesses. Blum, a conservative activist, founded the American Alliance for Equal Rights nonprofit, which recently filed a lawsuit against Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund based in Atlanta.

The lawsuit alleges that Fearless Fund is engaging in unlawful racial discrimination by limiting its grant competition eligibility exclusively to Black women entrepreneurs. Citing the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the legal action was taken to federal court in Atlanta.

Fearless Fund, founded in 2019 by influential Black women, including Keshia Knight Pulliam from the Cosby Show, entrepreneur Arian Simone, and corporate executive Ayana Parsons, is committed to supporting and empowering Black Women-Owned Businesses. Notably, the fund has received backing from major institutions like Bank of America, Costco Wholesale, General Mills, Mastercard, and JPMorgan Chase.

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This marks Blum’s first legal challenge since his organization’s recent victory in the Supreme Court, which ruled against affirmative action in collegiate admissions, arguing that race-conscious student admissions policies were unfair to white and Asian American applicants.

Blum’s focus in this lawsuit is on Fearless Fund’s “Fearless Strivers Grant Contest,” a program that awards $20,000 in grants, digital tools, and mentorship opportunities to Black women entrepreneurs. The American Alliance for Equal Rights claims that members of their organization who are white and Asian American were excluded from the grant program solely based on their race. So far, Fearless Fund has not responded to these allegations.

In an interview with Reuters, Blum stated that this 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 intends to build upon the success of his previous cases against Harvard and UNC, which were filed by his organization, Students for Fair Admissions, and led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling in June.

Blum emphasizes that the overarching goal of these organizations is to challenge the use of racial classifications and preferences in the country’s policies through legal means.

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