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WASHINGTON—On Monday, in American Alliance for Equal Rights vs. Fearless Fund Management LLC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit overturned a district court’s decision and ordered a further pause to the Fearless Fund awarding any grants in the Fearless Strivers Grant Contest until the district court decides the merits of the case. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, alongside 15 civil rights organizations and co-counsel with Crowell & Moring LLP, led an amicus brief in the district court and the appeals court. 

The following is a statement from Katy Youker, director of the Economic Justice Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

“We are deeply disappointed that the appeals court has ordered a continued pause of the Fearless Fund’s selection of recipients for the Fearless Strivers Grant Contest. This fight is far from over. The case will now be decided by the trial court, which will evaluate the facts and the lawfulness of the grant program.  

This lawsuit has been manufactured in order to dismantle one of the few programs available to fund start-ups run by Black women entrepreneurs. In a country where less than 1% of all venture capital funding goes to Black women, irrespective of their creditworthiness or financial potential, this lawsuit shows a willful blindness to the reality that discrimination in the venture capital market still exists. Without programs like the Fearless Fund’s grant program, which creates a remedy to discrimination, we can expect the effects of inequality to reverberate across our society, thwarting our ability to realize a fair and inclusive democracy and a thriving economy. We call upon both the courts and the business community to make sure that does not happen.” 




About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law–The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real.