Fearless Fund Co-Founder Ayana Parsons has parted from her leadership role at the venture capital firm.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Parsons reveals that she stepped down as chief operating officer of Fearless Fund, co-founded by Parsons and CEO Arian Simone, in April 2024. 

“I have stepped back from the operations of the fund, so I’m not in the day-to-day, I’m not running it,” Parsons said, per the outlet. “But what I can tell you as it relates to me, is I’m a problem solver. I’m a changemaker. And so, I am pulling together people to talk about innovative and creative ways that we can continue to drive change and do it in multiple areas.”

While the move was amid Fearless Fund’s lawsuit, Parsons emphasizes that her departure wasn’t due to the legal battle. As previously reported by AFROTECH™,  Edward Blum and his American Alliance for Equal Rights group sued the Atlanta, GA-based fund in August 2023 for “explicit racial exclusion” by establishing a grant program “open only to Black females.” The lawsuit also claimed that Fearless Fund’s grant program violated the Civil Rights Act of 1866. 

Though Parsons is no longer the COO of Fearless Fund, she remains a co-founder and investor. The announcement of her departure follows the court ruling against the fund. On June 3, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit blocked Fearless Fund from awarding grants exclusively to Black woman entrepreneurs, per CNN.

“I am shattered for every girl of color who has a dream but will grow up in a nation determined not to give her a shot to live it,” Simone said, per CNN. “On their behalf, we will turn the pain into purpose and fight with all our might.”

On June 24 during the 2024 ForbesBLK Summit, Parsons shared the sentiment of not wanting the ruling to cause the community to back down, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“For all of you, when you see what has happened to the Fearless Fund and many other organizations, my message is do not be discouraged, lean in,” Parsons said.

In addition, she shared that she’s on a mission to support the next generation of Black executives.

“If I can use this next chapter in my journey to pour into more people, to coach, develop, mentor — whether it’s entrepreneurs, investors, corporate executives — that’s what I want to do,” she said.