Innovare’s Response to SCOTUS Decision on Affirmative Action

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On the 29th of June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down affirmative action admissions programs at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. This ruling effectively prohibits the use of crucial policies that have long been instrumental in raising the number of Black, Latinx, and other underrepresented minority students on American campuses.

As an EdTech startup founded by three passionate individuals from Black and Latinx backgrounds, we have a deep, firsthand understanding of the immense challenges minority students encounter during the college admissions process. Through our personal experiences, we have witnessed the undeniable disparities and biases that persist within educational systems, significantly impacting students from under-resourced communities.

Affirmative action, despite its flaws, played a vital role in leveling the playing field for minority students by providing them with access to something everyone should have: a good education. By creating opportunities and breaking down barriers, it aimed to address historical disadvantages and ensure that all individuals, regardless of their background, had an equal chance to thrive academically—and beyond.

In other words, affirmative action provided access to something everyone should have: A good education. 

This decision raises concerns about the future of equity, and inclusion of all people in higher education. It reinforces the need for continuous efforts to address the systemic barriers faced by underrepresented students. However, amidst this setback, we remain resolute in our commitment to making education more equitable.

“We are disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision but remain activated to continue to drive equity via our hiring processes, who we partner with, who our investors are, and to proudly and positively impact a majority of women and people of color with our work.” – AJ DeLeón, co-founder and CEO of Innovare 

At Innovare, we believe that education should be a beacon of hope, opportunity, and empowerment for all individuals—regardless of their background. We’re dedicated to amplifying the voices and experiences of educators and learners from underrepresented backgrounds, and we’ll continue to work tirelessly to create innovative solutions that bridge the gaps and foster inclusive learning environments. Our mission is driven by the commitment to address these systemic issues and provide equitable opportunities for all—a mission echoed by Co-Founder and Head of Growth Nick Freeman:

“Education, essential for progress and social mobility, experienced major setbacks due to the recent Supreme Court ruling. As founders of Color in EdTech, we remain dedicated to serving underrepresented and minority communities and advocating for policies that dismantle systemic barriers.”

Now more than ever, we recognize the importance of collaboration and collective action. We encourage our fellow EdTech organizations, educational institutions, policymakers, and advocates to join us in creating a future where every student, regardless of their race or socioeconomic status, has equal access to quality education.

Our Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer Fernando DeLeón put it best:

“The Supreme Court decision on affirmative action taints but does not stop progress towards equity.  We will not be deterred from building ladders and bridges for those who are marginalized and calling out racism and discrimination”

Together, we can build a more just and equitable educational landscape—one that celebrates diversity, fosters inclusion, and nurtures the unlimited potential within every student.

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