Appeals Court Blocks Grant Program for Black Women Entrepreneurs

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Co-founders and CEOs of The Fearless Fund Arian Simone, center left, and Ayana Parsons, center right, speak to journalists outside federal court in Miami, on Jan. 31, 2024. A U.S. federal court of appeals panel suspended the venture capital firm's grant program for Black women business owners, ruling that a conservative group is likely to prevail in its lawsuit claiming that the program is the discriminatory. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)
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A U.S. federal court of appeals panel has suspended a venture capital firm’s grant program for Black women business owners, ruling that a conservative group is likely to prevail in its lawsuit claiming the program is discriminatory.

The case against the Fearless Fund was brought by the American Alliance for Equal Rights, led by Edward Blum, the activist behind the Supreme Court case that ended affirmative action in college admissions.

In a 2-1 ruling, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Blum was likely to prevail in his claim that the grant program violated the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which was a Reconstruction-era law was designed to protect formerly enslaved people from economic discrimination, but anti-affirmative action activists have been using it to challenge programs aimed at benefiting minority-owned businesses.


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