Inspirational and Humorous Diversity Quotes

Inspirational Quotes on Diversity and Inclusion

Posted Jan 21, 2013

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In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, below is a collection of inspirational and humorous quotes on Diversity and Inclusion. Hope you enjoy!


On Oneness

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I can see myself in all things and all people around me.” — Sanskrit Phrase


On Love

“Love is stronger than hate.” — Source Unknown

“Love is or it ain’t.” — Toni Morrison

“You have a different kind of tenderness for everybody you know.” — Allan Gurganus

“I love you more than my own skin.” — Frida Kahlo

“In focusing on others’ needs, we also discover meaning beyond the self. The New Testament’s four books on Jesus’ life all record his teaching that to find life we must be willing to lose our lives. To find meaning we must discover something bigger than ourselves, and serve it.” — David G. Myers

“Nothing makes you happier than when you really reach out in mercy to someone who is badly hurt.” — Mother Teresa


On Diversity

“The history of the United States is the story of people of many backgrounds.” — William Loren Katz

“A lot of different flowers make a bouquet.” — Muslim Origin

Archie Bunker: “What color was he?His young niece: “People color.” — from “All in the Family”


On Justice and Injustice

“But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” — Psalm 37:11

“When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.” — Mahatma Gandhi

"Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood." Coretta Scott King

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." — Albert Einstein

Read more on the topics of social justice and equality in my articles "Ron Takaki, Vincent Chin and Asian American Leadership", "Forgotten Victory of Asian American Civil Rights Pioneers", and "Striving Toward True Liberation: Women's Roles and Influences in the Life of the Buddha".


On Indifference

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” — Edmund Burke

“Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. To be in the window and watch people being sent to concentration camps or being attacked in the street and do nothing, that’s being dead.” — Elie Weisel

“What luck for rulers that men do not think.” — Adolf Hitler

“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then, they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionist, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.” — Pastor Martin Niemoller, Nazi Victim


On Taking Action

“Where there’s injustice, I always believe in fighting. The question is: do you fight to change things, or do you fight to punish? For myself I’ve found with all such sin as we should leave punishment to God.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“I thought, for years, that the proper response to evil policies was a polite response. Don’t make waves. Even when I was boiling inside, I was smiling—trying stupidly to ignore oppressive institutional failure, believing if I was nice enough, maybe it would correct itself . . . . I should have fought back—placidly, yes, but actively.” — Patricia Raybon

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening . . . . Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.” — Frederick Douglass 


On Tolerance

“The test of courage comes when we are in the minority; the test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.” — Ralph W. Sockman

“Where each man claims his freedom as a matter of right, the freedom he accords to other men is a matter of toleration.” — Walter Lippmann

“You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.” — Booker T. Washington


On Attitude

“If you don’t have the capacity to change yourself and your own attitudes, then nothing around you can be changed.” — Anwar Sadat, quoting the Koran

“What you think, you become.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“If we don’t accept ourselves for who we are and where we’ve come from, who will?” — Silvia Rojas 


On Having Fun

“A recent Ku Klux Klan rally in Austin produced an eccentric counter-demonstration. When the fifty Klansmen appeared in front of the state capitol, they were greeted by five thousand locals who had turned out for a “Moon the Klan” rally. Citizens dropped by both singly and in groups, occasionally producing a splendid wave effect. It was a swell do.

You got to have fun while you’re fightin’ for freedom, ‘cause you don’t always win . . . And when you get through kickin’ ass and celebratin’ the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.”

— Molly Ivins


Unclear on the Concept Winners:

“I’m American—I have no cultural background.”

“Music 101 discussion topic: which piano keys are superior; ebony or ivory?”

“We’re not studying ethnic literature; we’re studying Irish literature.”


On Freedom and Liberation

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” — Source Unknown

“You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea.” — Medgar Evers 


On Hope and Optimism

“I am fundamentally an optimist . . . . Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lay defeat and death.” — Nelson Mandela

“The harshest winter finds an invincible summer in us.” — Albert Camus


On Courage and Perseverance

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.” — Helen Keller

“I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” — Thomas Edison

“Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections, failed twice in business and suffered a nervous breakdown before he became the president of the United States.” — Wall Street Journal 

“The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.” — Helen Keller


On Personal Responsibility

“We appeal to the individual American because the transformation of a whole nation ultimately depends on the initiative and change of character of the individuals who compose it.” — The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” — George Bernard Shaw

“The dream is real my friends. The failure to make it work is the unreality.” — Toni Cade Bambera

“I grew up in a family that could not see past the color line. To me, one of the most important accomplishments in my life is to know that I have broken the chain of racism in my family.” — Michille Akhavi

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” — Mother Teresa


On Spiritual Medicine

“If we take the world’s enduring religions at their best, we discover the distilled wisdom of the human race.” — Huston Smith

“When they say come and sing, that’s the medicine.” — Ella Fitzgerald

“When you’ve got too much religion that you can’t mingle with people, that you’re afraid of certain people, you’ve got too much religion.” — C. L. Franklin


On Self-Knowledge

“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” — John, Ch. 8

“The true value of a human being can be found to the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.” — Albert Einstein

“Look within yourself. After self-reflection, one’s eyes may open and see things in an honest light, and view people and things with appreciation for all their natural beauty.” — Tao Principle

“But first I have to go to the place, move the dirt, find why I am here.” — Toni Morrison

“The man who sweats under his mask, whose role makes him itch with discomfort, who hates the division in himself, is already beginning to be free.” — Thomas Merton

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it.” — Santayana

“Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?” — Gauguin


On Forgiveness

“Please forgive us. Please release and please set into the depth of the ocean our pilikia (trouble), nevermore to rise. All this we ask in Thy holy name. Amen.” — E. Victoria Shook, Ho’oponopono: Contemporary Uses of a Hawaiian Problem-Solving Process 

“Because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” — Anne Frank

For more on personal and professional success, see my books (click on titles):

"How to Communicate Effectively and Handle Difficult People"

"How to Let Go of Negative Thoughts and Emotions"

"With Dignity and Honor: Understanding Racism, Unlearning Racism"

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Preston Ni, M.S.B.A. is available as a presenter, workshop facilitator, and private coach. For more information, write to, or visit

© 2013 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide.