Press Releases
Press Releases


Sep 23, 2023

Civil Rights Leader to Stand Against Legal Group Behind Crushing SCOTUS Decision, GOP Attorneys General as Fearless Fund Co-Founders Make First Court Appearance

Atlanta, GA –– Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), will travel to Atlanta this Tuesday to take a stand against right-wing legal activists’ relentless attempts to gut affirmative action in higher education, business, and other fields. The civil rights leader will show his support to Fearless Fund co-founders Arian Simone and Ayana Parsons, who conservatives sued because their organization financially supports Black female entrepreneurs.

The controversial and highly condemned lawsuit is the latest effort to chip away at hard-fought civil rights in Corporate America following the Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College decision. Within weeks of that crushing Supreme Court decision, a group of Republican state Attorneys General fired off a letter threatening Fortune 100 companies that DEI efforts would count as discrimination. Rev. Sharpton swiftly denounced their attempt to capitalize on the decision as a way to peel back initiatives to level the economic playing field for Black and Brown Americans.

“I warned the day the Supreme Court gutted affirmative action that right-wing fundamentalists would set their sights on Corporate America, now that they had their way with higher education,” said Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of NAN. “They did just that when they launched a lawsuit against the Fearless Fund for trying to level the playing field for Black women who just wanted a piece of the American Dream. These conservative activists would rather melt the brass ring down than give us even a chance to grab it. That’s why the National Action Network will mobilize in Atlanta this Tuesday to show those who wish to keep us down that we are standing up.”

Not long after the late-June Students for Fair Admissions decision, anti-affirmative action activists sued the Fearless Fund in District Court in Atlanta. The lawsuit specifically targeted its Strivers Grant Contest, which gives $20,000 grants to Black female entrepreneurs, arguing it violates the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The Fearless Fund’s legal team has categorially dismissed these conservatives’ legal argument.

On Tuesday, NAN will lead a rally in support of the Fearless Fund and its co-founders, alongside their legal team and other supporters. The case against the Fearless Fund has become a litmus test for right-wing activists attempts to undo diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Companies have pledged a combined $340 billion toward racial equity from May 2020 to last October, according to the Brookings Institute, with many of those commitments coming from the financial sector Some pledges made after the 2020 murder of George Floyd have been peeled back as companies come under political pressure, while others have still not lived up to the benchmarks they set for themselves.

Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of NAN
Arian Simone and Ayana Parsons, Co-Founders of the Fearless Fund
Attorney Ben Crump
Attorney Alphonso David

Tuesday, September 26th, 2023
10 a.m. ET

Richard B. Russell Federal Building
75 Ted Turner Drive SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

About National Action Network (NAN) 

National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender. 

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