DEI Program Blocked By Federal Court

( – On Monday, June 3, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a black-owned venture capital group that was giving grants exclusively to black female entrepreneurs.

Conservative activist Edward Blum, who runs the American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER), filed a lawsuit against the Atlanta-based venture capitalist group, which is known as the Fearless Fund, alleging that their grant program which only gives money to black women, is discriminatory. The judges of the 11th Circuit Court agreed with Blum, calling the program “likely discriminatory” and unlikely to withstand scrutiny if they defend it under the First Amendment.

This case is another victory for Blum and his group, who were plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case last year that ended affirmative action admissions to college in the US. AAER argued that the Fearless Fund caused their members “additional harm” in the form of racial discrimination, which is illegal. AAER further called the Fearless Fund grant program for black women “unjust and polarizing.”

Jason Schwartz, a lawyer representing Fearless Fund, said the firm he works for is “evaluating” possible options for the group, suggesting that the 11th Circuit decision is not the “final outcome” of their case.

Arian Simone, one of the founders of the Fearless Fund, said she was “shattered” by the decision, which she believes is more evidence that the US is “determined” to not give girls of color a chance to live their dreams. Stating that their fund was “still open for business,” she claims the judges in the case were sending a message that diversity “should not exist” in corporations or education. Simone added that she and the other members of the Fearless Fund will continue fighting on behalf of girls of color.

Blum said he was “grateful” for the judges’ decision, pointing out that civil rights laws do not allow for programs to exclude members of certain races because some groups may be over- or under- represented in specific capacities.

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