Fearless Fund, led by Arian Simone (CEO) and Ayana Parsons (COO), has filed an appeal to carry out its mission in full force.

As AFROTECH previously told you, the Atlanta, GA-based venture capital firm created to provide funding to women of color was sued by Edward Blum and his American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER) group in August 2023 on the basis that the fund was carrying out “explicit racial exclusion” and was in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

Fearless Fund had received a shortened victory when U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash ruled in its favor the following month. However, it was soon blocked by a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which prevented the fund from awarding grants to Black women entrepreneurs on Sept. 30.

In the most recent update, Fearless Fund is now appealing the September ruling.

“The Alliance seeks to enjoin a grant and mentorship program designed to ‘bridge the gap in venture capital funding’ that Black women entrepreneurs face as a result of historical discrimination,” the appeal read, according to 11Alive in Atlanta.

Fearless Fund also stated the AAER has distorted a Reconstruction-era civil rights law in an effort for the group to promote its “colorblind-at-all-costs viewpoint.” The fund stated the law does not apply to the grant program.

“[T]he Alliance opposes race-conscious remedial programs in all forms and exists for the sole purpose of attacking them in the courts,” Fearless Fund stated, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Fearless Fund lawyers wrote, “Forcing the Foundation to adopt race-neutral criteria would disable the Foundation from conveying its message on the precise topic it seeks to address: economic disadvantages faced by ‘Black women.'”

On Jan. 31, 2023, a three-judge appeals panel will hear both parties during an expedited hearing in Miami, FL.