Giving Areas

The Irving Harris Foundation is pleased to join the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois, and other philanthropic partners in the effort to support individuals, families, and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the press release.

We promote equity of outcomes for all children by enabling access to comprehensive, high-quality care in nurturing environments for pregnant women, very young children and families to promote success in school and in life.

Reproductive Health & Justice

Our strategic grantmaking, special initiatives, and field leadership are rooted in Irving’s holistic vision for the early childhood field. That vision includes advancing access to high-quality and respectful reproductive, maternal and infant health care as a critical component to promoting social and emotional health and to creating a more equitable world for very young children and their families.

Ensuring respect and dignity in decision making about family planning, birthing, becoming parents, forming families, and raising children is core to our Early Childhood work.

We support organizations, initiatives, and leaders that strive for reproductive justice, so all people will have the rights and resources to determine if, when, and how to become parents, and will be able to raise their young children in thriving families and safe communities.

Irving Harris Foundation’s Professional Development Network Launches Special Issue of the Infant Mental Health Journal focused on RHJ

Irving Harris Foundation (IHF) is excited to announce that the Infant Mental Health Journal published a Special Issue on the Intersections of Infant Mental Health and Reproductive Health and Justice in its September/October 2019 Issue. This comes at a critically important time in our country in the fight for social justice and human rights and reflects IHF’s longstanding view that pregnant and parenting people’s rights, safety and dignity are deeply tied to the well-being of infants and toddlers. It is grounded in our long-standing investments in both early childhood and reproductive health and justice and enhancing the connections between these two fields. IHF and our partners have been honored to learn from the pioneering Black women who founded the reproductive justice movement* and the flourishing field of reproductive justice activists and scholars that are leading the ongoing fight for sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice in this country.

This Issue does not seek to speak for or represent these leaders. Rather, the intent of the Special Issue is to spark inquiry and reflection on how the practice of Infant Mental Health (IMH) can be informed by the critical insights and analysis reproductive justice offers and the role leaders in IMH and the broader Early Childhood field can play as allies in the pursuit of justice and dignity for pregnant people, families and very young children. The issue results from the intensive work of the Harris Professional Development Network (PDN) and reflects a learning journey these leaders in IMH have embarked on as they seek to understand the impact of reproductive injustices and systemic harms on the families they serve. We are grateful for the members of the PDN who’ve conceptualized and led this work including the Issue’s Guest Editors Paula Zeanah and Elizabeth Lujan, the many PDN members who are contributing authors, and the members of the PDN’s Reproductive Health & Justice Committee who have been thought partners and visionaries in driving it forward. We hope this issue proves to be a valuable resource in this regard and also recognize this is just the beginning of the journey.

The Special Issue can be found here – articles are licensed under Creative Commons and may be used and reproduced under the specifications of those licenses.


*The term reproductive justice (RJ) was coined by 12 groundbreaking African American scholars and advocates in 1994: Toni M. Bond Leonard, Reverend Alma Crawford, Evelyn S. Field, Terri James, Bisola Marignay, Cassandra McConnell, Cynthia Newbille, Loretta Ross, Elizabeth Terry, ‘Able’ Mable Thomas, Winnette P. Willis, and Kim Youngblood.