Federal Court Reinforces Barriers to Economic Opportunity with Fearless Fund Ruling

By National Urban League Published June 5, 2024

NEW YORK (June 5, 2024) – National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial issued the following statement in response to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals suspension of Fearless Fund’s Strivers Grant Contest:

"Two Trump-appointed judges have made a mockery of the principle of “equal rights” with a ruling that reinforces racial exclusion and upholds white privilege.

"Edward Blum’s sham organization, The American Alliance for Equal Rights, sued on behalf of anonymous white women whom it could not proved were harmed, and achieved a victory for white people under a law intended to protect Black Americans from discrimination.

"The sad fact is Edward Blum has been pitching a tantrum since losing a congressional election to a Black opponent more than 30 years ago, and apparently some people still share his terror of competing on an even playing field.

"For most of history, a white, male entrepreneur seeking funding for his business would be competing only against other white men. Black women entrepreneurs receive less than 1% of venture capital funding, but even this tiny encroachment onto traditionally white male territory is too intimidating for Blum and his ilk.

"Throughout his three-decade crusade to dismantle racial equity initiatives, Blum has claimed to be seeking a “color-blind society.” What he actually seeks is a society that is blind to racial inequity, where he and his anonymous backers can maintain the fiction that their advantages are the result of 'merit and hard work.'

"The National Urban League stands with Ayana Parsons and Arian Simone and their efforts to strengthen Black Americans’ rights to equal participation in the marketplace. Programs like the Strivers Grant are indisputably authorized under federal law, and we are confident that justice in this case ultimately will prevail."