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Official Statement on Federal Appeals Court Suspension of Fearless Fund's Grant for Black Entrepreneurs

The Boston Women’s Fund is disgusted by the Federal Court’s suspension of the Fearless Fund’s program funding Black women entrepreneurs. This is the latest in a series of stunts propelled by conservative groups determined to roll back years of diversity gains and disenfranchise Black women and their communities. 

The lawsuit leading to this suspension was brought by a group called the American Alliance for Equal Rights, claiming that the program’s focus on Black women contradicts the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which forbids race-based discrimination when making contracts. 

But ironically, the sole reason organizations like Fearless Fund exist is because even 159 years after the abolition of slavery, and 56 years after Jim Crow, there’s nothing equal about Black women’s lack of access to capital in the United States. For every dollar earned by white men, Black women make just 63.7 cents. In the philanthropic sector, organizations supporting Black women and girls receive a mere .5% of all charitable giving in the U.S. Is this what equal rights for all looks like? We at the Boston Women’s Fund think that America can do better and Black women deserve more.

These figures came to be while initiatives like Affirmative Action, and Diversity Equity and Inclusion programs were in play. Since Affirmative Action’s repeal, other private companies and institutions have watered down their diversity programs, fearing legal repercussions. What will the numbers look like when those who fear an empowered future for people of color have systematically attacked every attempt to level the playing field? 

The Boston Women’s Fund stands strong in our tireless support for Black women. We’re forever invested in the health of communities of color, and fund ideas penned by the leaders they’ve built. Our one-of-a-kind leadership development program helps women of color advance their professional journeys and navigate the challenges of white supremacy in the workplace. We honor the leadership of Black girls in our youth initiative, offering a supportive space for young people to share their challenges and take action toward justice in their communities. BWF will never stop fighting for a world where equal access truly exists for the persistently marginalized. With our partners, board, donors, and funders we will not waver. We will speak louder and be bolder in our collective goals. We will join local and national organizing efforts. We will. Until we all are liberated. I hope you will continue to show up, support, and walk with us on this journey to freedom.

In Solidarity,

-Natanja Craig Oquendo


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