6/4/2024 in News & Media, Press Releases

NFHA Statement on Court Ruling to Halt Grants Geared Toward Black Women Entrepreneurs

June 4, 2024
Contact: Janelle Brevard | jbrevard@nationalfairhousing.org

NFHA Statement on Court Ruling to Halt Grants Geared Toward Black Women Entrepreneurs

Washington, D.C. — The National Fair Housing Alliance® (NFHA™) released the following statement from Executive Vice President Nikitra Bailey in response to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals panel’s decision to halt Atlanta, GA-based Fearless Fund’s grant program for Black women:

“The Eleventh Circuit Court’s decision is part of a larger unwise attempt to dismantle Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs nationwide and stymie decades of Civil Rights progress. It is no coincidence that the same forces behind the Supreme Court’s 2023 anti-affirmative action ruling are also behind this court decision.

“For centuries, this country has used race and gender to entrench policies and practices that intentionally prevented women and people of color from buying homes, getting a quality education, and entering certain industries. The effects of that can still be felt today, particularly for Black women who have been effectively shut out by venture capitalists and only account for 1.4 percent of the C-suite. Furthermore, communities of color have been and often continue to be underserved by mainstream banks and other financial institutions that might offer resources for starting a new business and building wealth. The reality is advancing racial equity is the rising tide that lifts all boats. The U.S. economy can grow by $5 trillion over the next five years if we effectively address discrimination targeted at Black communities.

“It is telling that the forces at play in this case did not bring a challenge to the Paycheck Protection Program, where over 90 percent of the first round of $350 billion in federal taxpayer funds went to White-owned businesses due to discriminatory barriers that overwhelmingly impacted Black and Latino business owners. As a result, 40 percent of Black-owned and 32 percent of Latino-owned businesses closed in the early days of the global COVID19 pandemic.

“After centuries of using race as a tool to deny certain groups pathways to wealth-building and opportunity, it is cruel and disingenuous to now insist that race cannot be a factor as organizations – like the Fearless Fund – work to remedy past and current harms. We need race-conscious solutions not platitudes about race neutrality. Despite the court’s misguided and disheartening decision, we will remain committed to the work of advancing racial equity and ensuring that this country is a place of opportunity for everyone.”


The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. Through its homeownership, credit access, tech equity, education, member services, public policy, community development, and enforcement initiatives, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.