Maina wa Njuguna
American Alliance for Equal Rights weeks ago filed for a temporary preliminary injunction to block Fearless Fund from considering applications for grants only from businesses led by Black women in what it termed as “racially exclusive program”.
A venture capital (VC) fund is a summation of money investors commit for investment in early-stage companies. These investors become limited partners in the venture and the founder(s) can build on the business because of availability of critical resources.
A week ago, the U.S. District Judge denied the injunction asserting that it was unlikely to be successful. Mr. Blum immediately filed an appeal to the Eleventh Circuit, US Court of Appeals.
Just this past weekend, the appellate court temporarily blocked 🚫 Fearless Fund from administering awards and noted that the program was “racially exclusionary” and “substantially likely” to violate a federal law prohibiting racial discrimination in contracting.
Fearless Fund is a venture capital funding company located in Atlanta, GA with a mission to close the humongous gap in fund allocation to minority women led ventures and companies.
Black women receive less than 0.35% of all VC funding — not even a full percentage point of the billions of dollars that flow through the startup ecosystem. In 2022, $288 billion were allocated with only $1.01 billion going to Black Women start-ups. Remember, Black women have more business startups than any other group in the US as a proportion of their population.
The irony here is that the same barriers and microaggressions that caused many Black women to flee Corporate America and venture out on their own are still obstacles when they re-engage with these same spaces as entrepreneurs – Forbes Magazine.
According to research by Harvard Business Review and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Black women in the US have the highest rate of business start-ups than all other demographics at 17%, compared to 10% of White women and 15% for White men.
Reasons as to why include –
· Escape discrimination and other barriers at workplaces
· Flexibility and life-work balance
· Ambition and opportunity
We will not fully dive to summerize on the hundreds of accumulated years of slavery, redlining and sanctioned discrimination that has had profound and disparate impact on Black and Latin X women in particular. (Click links for more info.)
Edward Bloom is described as a conservative and legal strategist and is known for his activism against affirmative action based on race and ethnicity and animosity towards civil rights. In early 1990s, Mr. Blum who is white lost a Texas congressional election which had been redrawn in favor of African Americans and Latin X voters in what is termed as a quest for fair representation.
Since then, Mr. Blum has been pivotal in unleashing litigations to dismantle diversity programs such as the Voting Rights Act, and race-conscious college admission programs.
His latest victory that has reverberated across the country is the STUDENTS FOR FAIR ADMISSION, INC. v HARVARD; STUDENTS OF FAIR ADMISSIONS, INC. v UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA (UNC) that the US Supreme Court ruled in his favor, virtually ending all affirmative programs in institutions of higher learning. The suit alleged that Harvard College and other universities across the country discriminated against Asian-Americans in their quest for diversity.
The landmark decision handed down on July 29th, 2023, by the US Supreme Court, and held that race-based affirmative action program in college admissions processes violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the US constitution.
The US 14th Amendment: No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The case against Fearless Fund is a huge legal tussle in an atmosphere with a Supreme Court that has become very conservative. This will likely be a fight for the Fund’s survival to operate as it currently does.
Follow the link below to read more on Fearless Fund.