Aug 2, 2023
A legal action has been initiated against an Atlanta-based venture capital fund by a group associated with the conservative activist responsible for the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on affirmative action.
A legal action has been initiated against an Atlanta-based venture capital fund by a group associated with the conservative activist responsible for the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on affirmative action. The American Alliance for Equal Rights, led by Edward Blum, a critic of affirmative action policies, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Atlanta. The lawsuit alleges that Fearless Fund, the venture capital firm, is engaging in illegal racial discrimination by restricting eligibility for a grant competition solely to Black women. This move, the American Alliance for Equal Rights argues, contravenes Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, a U.S. law that prohibits racial bias in private contracts.
Fearless Fund, established in 2019 by prominent Black women including actress Keshia Knight Pulliam and entrepreneur Arian Simone, is endorsed by investors such as Bank of America, Costco Wholesale, General Mills, Mastercard, and JPMorgan Chase. The lawsuit specifically targets the Fearless Strivers Grant Contest, which provides $20,000 grants, digital tools, and mentorship opportunities to small businesses owned by Black women. The plaintiff claims that this program excludes white and Asian American members of their organization.
Edward Blum's earlier legal efforts led to the Supreme Court's ruling against race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. The conservative-majority court determined these policies to be unlawful, stating that they discriminated against white and Asian American applicants. The present lawsuit marks Blum's first legal action following that ruling. Blum aims to utilize the American Alliance for Equal Rights to challenge race-based policies within private corporations.
Fearless Fund is yet to respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit. In an interview, Blum expressed his intention to pursue additional cases challenging racial classifications and preferences in various policies through the American Alliance for Equal Rights. These cases are inspired by the successful litigation brought by the organization Blum founded, Students for Fair Admissions, against Harvard and UNC. Blum's goal remains consistent: to challenge the application of racial preferences and classifications in national policies through legal avenues.