The Fearless Fund’s bravery is paying off.
Last month, the Black woman-owned, ran and focused VC firm made a declaration that they were going to fight a racial discrimination lawsuit filed against them by a right-wing conservative, citing they’d violated discrimination laws by making only Black women eligible to participate in its marquee grant competition.
On September 26, Georgia Federal Courts ruled in the Fearless Fund’s favor, after a judge refused to issue an injunction Tuesday that would have prevented the firm from issuing grants to early-stage businesses owned by Black women, per a Washington Post report.
The action is a positive step toward culling the lawsuit, one that impedes on the progress the fund aims to make in closing the pervasive racial gap in VC funding. As it stands, only .02 of all venture capital goes toward Black women-owned businesses.
“Activism is in our DNA,” Fearless Fund’s co-founder Arian Simone stated during a 27-minute press conference held in New York City. “We’re not scared.”
According to a breaking report by Reuters in August, the nonprofit American Alliance for Equal Rights, founded by Blum cited section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, a U.S. law barring racial bias in private contracts, to call out that the Fearless Fund is in violation of discrimination laws by making only Black women eligible to participate in the marquee grant competition. Seeing that the group receives such a low level of investment already, the suit was a slap in the face for many.
“What the plaintiffs are attempting to do here is to turn a civil rights statute on its head,” said Alphonso David, chief executive of the Global Black Economic Forum (GBEF) and a member of the Fearless Fund legal team. The organization’s purpose is in alignment with the Funds, in which economic issues specific to the Black diaspora are addressed and eradicated.
“We’re going to fight this,” Simone said later that day during at the August. press conference. “And we’re going to win.”