About The Tenets Initiative

Building a more diverse, inclusive and equitable organization starts with aspiration, intentional practice and individual and collective commitment.

Our Vision: The Tenets Initiative envisions a workforce in which all individuals, programs, organizations and systems of care embed principles of diversity, equity and inclusion into their work serving infants, children and families.

Our Role: The Tenets Initiative helps people, organizations and systems of care by offering a set of aspirational principles which we can all strive towards.

Our How: The Tenets Initiative offers workshops to help participants link the Tenets to their spheres of practice by reaching new levels of self-understanding, unpacking programmatic and organizational practices, and analyzing policy efforts to effect change. We start by engaging with a central assumption: we cannot do work in diversity, equity and inclusion without beginning with ourselves.   

Our Team: The Tenets were developed and are managed by an intergenerational, diverse Executive Council and Advisory Council seeking to change the landscape of services for pregnant women, infants, children and families. Each Tenet is informed by research and evidence, as well as the extensive collective experience of council members and the multitude of families they have served.

The Executive Council and Advisory Council are formed out of the Irving Harris Foundation’s Professional Development Network (PDN), an international network of grantees working to change the landscape of services for pregnant people, children ages birth to three and their families.

Endorsers of the Tenets Initiative

We are honored that the following organizations endorse the Tenets Initiative through embracing and promoting the Tenets to support the health and well-being of all infants, children, and families as part of their diversity, equity, and inclusion journey.


Adelphi University Institute for Parenting

Association of Infant Mental Health in Tennessee

Boston Medical Center Pediatrics


BTC Logo - Updated

Brazelton Touchpoints Center



Indigo Cultural Center Logo

Indigo Cultural Center

Massachusetts Association for Infant Mental Health


Shelby County Early Success Coalition



University of Washington Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development





To learn more about how to become an endorser of the Tenets, please contact the Tenets Team at tenets@irvingharrisfdn.org


“I am now talking with my social work interns and staff much more often and directly about implicit bias and systems of oppression in a global sense, and as they relate to us as practitioners with children and their families.” 

– Workshop Participant

“The Tenets are a reminder to encourage the examination of privilege more intentionally and consistently, and also the exploration on non-dominate bodies of knowledge as we delicately explore possible useful interventions with families.”

– Workshop Participant

“I like the idea that the Tenets not only extend to our daily practice, but encourages a global look at change and encouragement to go there.”

– Workshop Participant