U.S. Appeals Court Blocks Black-Owned Venture Capital Firm’s Exclusive Grants For Black Women Entrepreneurs

by Gee NY
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

A recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has halted a Black-owned venture capital firm’s initiative to provide grants exclusively to Black women entrepreneurs.

Arian Simone, CEO and founding partner of the Fearless Fund and founder of the Fearless Foundation, expressed disappointment in response to the ruling.

“I am shattered for every girl of color who has a dream but will grow up in a nation determined not to give her a shot to live it,” Simone stated in a message to CNN. “On their behalf, we will turn the pain into purpose and fight with all our might.”

Simone feels the decision conveys a message against diversity in corporate America and education.

The ruling marks a victory for Edward Blum, an anti-affirmative action legal strategist, who initiated the lawsuit through his organization, the American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER), last August.

AAER attorneys argued that their members, whose identities were not disclosed in the lawsuit, faced exclusion from the grant program due to their non-Black status, resulting in “additional harm” from what they alleged was illegal racial discrimination.

Blum, renowned for his involvement in the Supreme Court case that terminated affirmative action in college admissions last year, expressed appreciation for the court’s decision.

He stated:

“Our nation’s civil rights laws do not permit racial distinctions because some groups are overrepresented in various endeavors, while others are underrepresented. Programs that exclude individuals based on race, like those designed by the Fearless Fund, are unjust and polarizing. Significant majorities of Americans believe that race should not factor into public policies.”

The majority of judges, Kevin Newsom and Robert Luck, were appointed by former President Donald Trump, while the dissenting judge, Robin Rosenbaum, was appointed by former President Barack Obama.

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