Fearless Fund CEO Arian Simone Wants President Biden To Take Executive Action On DEI After Appeals Court Ruling

by Gee NY
Arian Simone and Biden

Arian Simone, the Founding Partner and CEO of the Fearless Fund, is calling on President Biden to take decisive executive action to protect diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

This appeal comes in response to a recent ruling by the 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, which has prohibited the Fearless Fund from issuing funding exclusively to Black women-owned businesses.

In a recent interview with CNN’s Abby Phillip, Simone expressed her deep concern over the June 3 ruling.

The appeals court, in a 2-1 decision, upheld an injunction from a lawsuit brought by conservative activist Edward Blum against the venture capital fund.

Simone, speaking from Cape Coast Castle in Ghana — a historic site where slaves were held before being shipped to the Americas — expressed the urgency of executive action to counteract what she described as a concerted effort to dismantle DEI initiatives.

“I am very disturbed by this ruling,” Simone said. “Right now, I would like to send a signal and a request to the United States of America to issue an executive order to stand up for DEI.”


Simone stressed the importance of protecting the ability to fund marginalized communities, highlighting the clear racial disparities that exist.

“We deserve the right to protect the ability to fund marginalized communities and demographics that can be clearly shown there are racial disparities. We deserve that. We need an executive order. We need a signal to the DOJ,” she urged.

The appeals court’s decision supported the argument that the Fearless Fund’s grant program could be considered discriminatory, overturning a previous federal judge’s ruling that the lawsuit was unlikely to succeed on First Amendment grounds.

This decision is a significant setback for the Fearless Fund, which aims to increase venture capital funding for Black women, and could potentially affect other race-based initiatives in the private sector.

Simone criticized the ruling as a misuse of Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1966, a law intended to ensure economic opportunities for Black Americans post-slavery by granting them the right to enter into contracts.

“They have flipped this law on its head,” she said. “It was clearly put in place to protect and provide, and now it’s being used, through court systems, as a way to dismantle diversity.”

With DEI initiatives under threat in various sectors, including education and corporate America, Simone’s concerns extend to the broader implications for venture capital funding.

“People are looking to see this as a benchmark as far as what the future of VC will look like. Right now, Black females are the fastest-growing entrepreneurial demographic. And Black and Brown women—women of color—are the most founded but the least funded,” she noted.

Simone warned that the ruling against the Fearless Fund could set a dangerous precedent, potentially halting similar organizations and efforts aimed at supporting women of color in business.

“If you were to ever stop an organization like the Fearless Fund, this means that you now have precedent to stop others and we cannot allow that,” she stated.

For more information on the Fearless Fund and its initiatives, visit Fearless Fund.

Related Posts

Crown App