June 10, 2024
It’s definitely time for Biden to step in….
Founding Partner and CEO of the Fearless Fund Arian Simone is calling for President Biden to step in on the fight against diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) after an appeals court ruled it could no longer issue funding for Black women businesses only
During an interview with CNN’s Abby Phillip, Simone spoke out following the June 3 ruling. Judges in the 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to uphold the injunction from Edward Blum’s lawsuit against the venture capital fund and foundation. 
Talking to Phillip from Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, which was used as a holding place for slaves before they were shipped to the Americas, Simone said she is very “disturbed” by the ruling. She continued by putting pressure on the president to take immediate executive action in order to protect diversity, equity, and inclusion as there are heavy right-wing efforts to eliminate it. “Right now, I would like to send a signal and a request to the United States of America to issue an executive order to stand up for DEI,” Simone told Phillip after being asked what else could be done. 
“We deserve the right to protect the ability to fund marginalized communities and demographics that can be clearly shown there are racial disparities. We deserve that. We need an executive order. We need a signal to the DOJ.”
Co-founder of @FearlessFund @ArianSimone calls on Biden to protect DEI efforts after a court ruling halts their grant program for Black women entrepreneurs: "We need an executive order… We cannot just rely on the court systems. We need elected officials to state and put pen to… pic.twitter.com/xA80gSPjwI
The high court’s decision supported the conservative activist’s claim that the grant program could be labeled as discriminatory and overturned a previous decision by a federal judge that found the lawsuit unlikely to succeed on the grounds of the First Amendment. The decision marked a blowback for the Atlanta-based Fearless Fund, which was established to increase venture capital funding for Black women and could impact other race-based initiatives in the private sector.
After the ruling announced the fund was in violation of Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1966 — a law she says was “clearly put in place post slavery for Black people to have an opportunity for economic freedom by giving them the legal right to enter into contract” — Simone agrees with supporters who feel the laws are being used to weaponize against Black people. “They have flipped this law on its head,” she said. 
“It was clearly put in place to protect and provide, and now it’s being used, through court systems, as a way to dismantle diversity.” 
As DEI initiatives are being eliminated in various spaces across the country, including educational institutions and Fortune 500 companies, concern from the VC founder has heightened as she feels the ruling will stamp a new precedent for other venture capital firms across the board. “People are looking to see this as a benchmark as far as what the future of VC will look like. Right now, Black females are the fastest-growing entrepreneurial demographic. And Black and Brown women — women of color — are the most founded but the least funded,” Simone said. 
“And this is very concerning where only a fraction of a percent of those funds in venture capital go to women of color. And if you were to ever stop an organization like the Fearless Fund, this means that you now have precedent to stop others and we cannot allow that.”
RELATED CONTENT: Benjamin Crump Leads Appeal For Black-Led Grant Program Caught Up In A Civil Rights Controversy

Enter your Email Address below to get our fun-filled Newsletter!
© 2024 Black Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.