Lawsuit Filed Against Atlanta’s Fearless Fund Claims The Firm Violated The Civil Rights Act – WABE

Ayana Parsons, right, and Arian Simone, of Fearless Fund, attend a news conference, Aug. 10, 2023, in New York. The venture capital firm that has backed buzzy new companies like restaurant chain Slutty Vegan and beauty brand Live Tinted has become symbolic of the fight over corporate diversity policies since becoming a target of a lawsuit over a grant program for Black women. But the Fearless Fund is a tiny player in the approximately $200 billion global venture capital market. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

For months, Fearless Fund, an Atlanta-based, Black-owned and women-led venture capital firm, has faced a lawsuit.

The conservative nonprofit American Alliance for Equal Rights filed the suit against the firm in August, citing that Fearless Fund’s $20,000 grant program, Fearless Strivers Grant Contest, violates the 1866 Civil Rights Act.

This all comes at a time when data shows Black business owners and Black entrepreneurs across the country face many unique challenges.

Among them, systemic racism, a lack of access to venture capital funds, barriers to accessing support services and networking opportunities, as well as inequitable access to business education.

According to Crunchbase, Black women founders receive less than 1% of all venture capital funding.

On Thursday’s edition of “Closer Look,” show host Rose Scott talks with Mirtha Donastorg, an economy and business reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and a corps member with Report for America.

Donastorg, who has been reporting on the developing case, discusses the latest.

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