Lawsuit filed against Atlanta’s Fearless Fund claims the firm violated the Civil Rights Act

Ayana Parsons, right, and Arian Simone, of Fearless Fund, attend a news conference, Aug. 10, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

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

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

This all comes at a time when data shows Black business owners and Black entrepreneurs across the country face many unique challenges, including systemic racism, a lack of access to venture capital funds, barriers to accessing support services and networking opportunities, and 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.