Fearless Fund And Its Lawyers Will “Vigorously” Fight Racial Discrimination Lawsuit
Though no legal strategy was presented, the Fearless Fund and its lawyers plan to “vigorously” fight a lawsuit filed against the Black-owned venture capital firm by a conservative anti-affirmative action activist.
That message emerged from a press conference on Aug. 10 with lawyers and the co-founders of the Fearless Fund responding to a lawsuit by the American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER), the same group that pushed for the ban against affirmative action for college admissions.
The latest suit emerged last week as the Atlanta-based Fearless Fund has been pivotal in helping Black women business owners gain and raise capital since 2019. It has raised over $26.5 million in financing to help Black female founders launch startups and grow businesses.
Including public comments for the first time on the “racial discrimination lawsuit,” the press conference was attended by Fearless Fund’s co-founders Arian Simone and Ayana Parsons and its lawyers. They include civil rights attorney Ben Crump and Alphonso David, president/CEO of the Global Black Economic Forum.
Crump talked about the significance of women having a seat at the table and economic freedom. The legal team plans to fight the suit vigorously, and pursuing a dismissal is a possible option.
Simultaneously, Simone too discussed the suit with Gayle King on CBS. The Fearless Fund disclosed just 0.39% of venture capital funding went to women of color businesses last year. And that measly percentage came from a whopping $288 billion made by venture investors in 2022.
When asked about the lawsuit, Simone told King she initially thought it was not real. Realizing it was, she described it as “definitely an attack to dismantle and address our economic freedom as people of color.”
On Fearless Fund’s response, Simone says it will be simple—the firm plans to continue to do the work it does for women of color. Simone explained a potential problem is that 92% of venture capital funding comes from white investors. “If we can diversify the investors, we can diversify the investments.”
The AAER lawsuit questions Fearless Fund’s Fearless Strivers Grant Contest. The program reportedly awards Black women small business owners $20,000 in grants and digital tools to help them grow.
As part of a statement, the Fearless Fund wrote, “Built by women of color for women of color, we are proud of the work we have done at the Fearless Fund and Fearless Foundation with the consistent and invaluable support from our corporate partners, investors, mentors, and advisors.”
It added, “Our vision is to promote a global society where marginalized and underrepresented communities are empowered with unbiased access to the resources and assistance that are critical to achieve business success.”
The firm listed several corporate partners for their continued support, including Ally, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Mastercard, PayPal, Nike, Tory Burch Foundation, Costco, General Mills, and Florida A&M University.
The Fearless Fund provided a new website amid its legal circumstance for support.