Conservative activist Edward Blum has hit Fearless Fund, a venture capital firm led by Black women, with a lawsuit alleging the company practice of providing grants exclusively to women of color violates Section 1981 of the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which states private contracts must be made without regard to race. Blum filed the suit last week in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta through his non-profit, American Alliance for Equal Rights.
Founded in 2019 by company CEO Arian Simone, actress Keisha Knight Pulliam, and executive Ayana Parsons, the organization provides grants, digital tools, and mentorship to catalyze the growth of their enterprises. Notable investors in Fearless Fund include heavy hiters Ally Bank, Bank of America, General Mills, Mastercard and Paypal.
Simone recently described the lawsuit as “an attack to dismantle and address our economic freedom as people of color.” She added that the organization will continue to help support women of color.
Blum recently scored a major victory in a case argued before the Supreme Court against Harvard and the University of North Carolina that ended with a decision effectively ending race-based affirmative action policies in American college admissions. Blum’s suit argues that Fearless Fund is using race-based practices to award recipients.
In the face of the lawsuit, the Fearless Fund has established a fundraising support platform at fearlessfreedomnow.org to aid in its fight against the legal challenge.