Why we’re committed to DEI

LENA engages in research and offers programs designed to foster interactive language environments that promote healthy child development. In order to achieve our mission to transform children’s futures through early talk technology and data-driven programs, we recognize that:

  • The behaviors and norms of interaction with children, and the circumstances that allow these interactions to flourish, vary widely across identities, cultures, and communities.
  • While early talk is a key contributor to a host of positive child outcomes, it needs to fit within a layered system of supports for children and adults.
  • Language-focused pursuits have a long history of being used as tools to control populations, sustain racist assumptions, and promote dominant culture norms.

We must continually grow in our understanding of how such factors influence our work and the lives of those we serve. While our focus is on creating the conditions that best support children’s engagement with adults, we must do so alongside strong, purposeful actions that do not perpetuate or exacerbate inequities and instead advance all children along the path to a more just society.

Actions we're taking


Program design

  • Redesign of LENA Grow with an enhanced focus on equity and ease-of-use for the diverse early childhood community. Read more about the advisory group who helped us shape these changes.
  • Translating program materials and resources into Spanish and translating our core 14 Talking Tips into a growing number of languages.
  • Collecting select demographic data in order to monitor and ensure equitable experiences in our programs, while striving to minimize the burden this collection places on teachers, children, families, and our partners.
  • Re-analyzing our age-referenced norms with a much larger dataset to ensure they are inclusive and reflective of the diverse populations of children and families we serve.


  • Engaging a rotating DEI Committee of cross-team LENA staff to advise and hold LENA accountable to our DEI-related commitments.
  • Forming a LENA Advisory Board representing a broad range of roles from the diverse communities we serve to inform and co-design program solutions and enhancements with our staff.
  • Conducting an ongoing equity audit process to review quantitative data across functional areas to ensure we are meeting, and celebrating, growth and accomplishments in our commitment to DEI.

Staff engagement and training

  • Establishing DEI definitions and expectations, embedding them into staff onboarding and professional development, and enhancing support for new staff, especially staff of color, to support inclusion.
  • Revising, and regularly revisiting, our hiring and onboarding processes to focus on recruiting and supporting a diverse pool of candidates at all levels.
  • Learning continuously through regular DEI Reading Groups focused on topics relevant to our daily experiences and work.