‘Injunction Denied!’: Fearless Fund Wins ‘Round 1’ Of Discrimination Lawsuit
The Atlanta-based Fearless Fund is celebrating a win in an ongoing court battle to prove that the racial discrimination suit against it is baseless.
On Sep. 26, Arian Simone, co-founder and investor at the Black-owned venture fund, posted a celebratory announcement regarding the first round of the lawsuit filed by The American Alliance for Equal Rights. The nonprofit was founded by anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum, who was instrumental in overturning race-based affirmative action policies in American college admissions.
The Fearless Strivers Grant Contest was called out in an Aug. 2 filing for violating part of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 that prohibits racial discrimination in contracts. The program awards $20,000 to Black women across the country who lead businesses. In addition, the alliance sought to place a restraining order and a preliminary injunction on the Fearless Fund.
“Today’s update – Preliminary injunction denied! We will continue to do the amazing work we do,” Simone wrote alongside a photo of her and two Black girls. “This is who we do it for: the children are our future!”
Fearless Fund assembled a powerhouse civil rights defense team to fight the lawsuit, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, and Benjamin Crump.
View this post on Instagram
The Washington Post reported that Senior U.S. Judge Thomas Thrash “refused to issue an injunction” that would have barred the Fearless Fund to continue offering the grant program only to Black women entrepreneurs.
Since its inception, The Fearless Fund has been investing in women of color-led businesses seeking pre-seed, seed level, or series A financing.
In a 914-page response to the lawsuit, The Fearless Fund noted that “the public has a strong interest in addressing manifest racial imbalances and encouraging expressive philanthropy; the grant program furthers these aims…it promotes the very goals that Section 1981 was enacted to advance: providing Black people with economic freedom—equal access to capital to build businesses, grow communities, and support families.”
The victory for the Fearless Find comes at a time when corporate diversity efforts are facing growing legal and political pushback.
“AAER not only fails to name any of its members, but it also fails to cite a single case that suggests the failure to be considered for a discretionary gift is a cognizable harm sufficient to confer standing,” the filing continued, according to Forbes.