Venture capital firm Fearless Fund is not bowing out of its fight to resume its Striver’s Grant program. On June 3, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals backed an injunction that halted the organizations’ support of Black women-led businesses.

Co-founder Arian Simone addressed the setback in her first televised interview since the court’s ruling with CNN’s Abby Phillip on Friday (June 7) evening. She called the hurdle disturbing, saying that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 had been flipped on its head and weaponized by the courts against the people the laws were created to protect — Black Americans.

Fearless Fund has been in litigation fighting back claims that they violate the act, which prohibits discrimination of race. The post-slavery legislation was designed to give newly freed enslaved people a chance and economic freedom.

Conservative group American Alliance for Equal Rights filed a lawsuit charging that the firm exercises discriminatory practices by excluding white and Asian women from its pool of applicants seeking $20,000 grants to scale their ventures.

The fund was founded by Simone and Ayana Parsons to give Black women access to money for their entrepreneurial pursuits. Black women account for less than one percent of all venture capital funding. Fearless Fund’s mission is to close that gap. To date, more than 40 businesses have benefited from the firm’s $26 million worth of awarded grants.

Simone says now is the time that politicians back diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, such as Fearless Fund. “I would like to signal and request to the president of the United States of America to issue an executive order to stand up for DEI. We deserve the right to protect the ability to fund marginalized communities and demographics that can be shown that there are clearly racial disparities,” she told Phillip.

The investor continued, “We deserve that. We need an executive order. We need a signal to the DOJ [Department of Justice]. We cannot just rely on the court systems right now. We need elected officials to state and show and put pen to paper to say where they stand on the issue of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is one of the values that this country prides themselves on, and we would like to see that our elected officials that we have in office take a stance.”

In a June 4 statement, the firm said that the court’s upholding of the injunction “isn’t the end, but the beginning of a renewed fight. We are committed more than ever to advocating for equity, pushing forward with resilience, and ensuring that women of color receive the opportunities they rightfully deserve.” Its legal team is exploring the next steps to take in their fight to resume their grant program.