We created this list of 50+ inspiring equality quotes from historical figures, business leaders, activists, authors, actresses, & more. They are awesome because they celebrate our differences!

Equality quotes (general)

Let’s start the list with some general quotes about equality:

equality quotes
Franklin Thomas, Former CEO of Ford Foundation (Image source: Columbia Law School)

“One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.

— Franklin Thomas

“If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

— J. K. Rowling, British Author

“Before God, we are all equally wise, and equally foolish.”

— Albert Einstein, Physicist

“Equality means nothing unless incorporated into the institutions.”

— Slobodan Milosevic, Former President of Serbia

“Until we get equality in education, we won’t have an equal society.”

— Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

“Equality implies individuality.”

— Trey Anastasio, Musician

“Inequality, in all its forms — gender, LGBTQ, racial, or otherwise — is an issue that every company must address for its own benefit and to create a better world. We believe businesses need to focus on closing the equality gap with the same energy put into creating new products and markets.”

— Tony Prophet, Chief Equality Officer, Salesforce

“We need to resist the tyranny of low expectations. We need to open our eyes to the inequality that remains. We won’t unlock the full potential of the workplace until we see how far from equality we really are.”

— Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

“Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.”

— Frances Wright, Scottish Writer

“Equality is not in regarding different things similarly, equality is in regarding different things differently.”

— Tom Robbins, American Novelist

“If you haven’t hired a team of people who are of color, female, and/or LGBT to actively turn over every stone, to scope out every nook and cranny, to pop out of every bush, to find every qualified underrepresented founder in this country, you’re going to miss out on a lot of money when the rest of the investment world gets it.”

— Arlan Hamilton, Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital

“We’re at a moment in time when companies aren’t going to tolerate not having a diverse slate; it truly puts them at risk”

— Ayana Parsons, Korn Ferry Board Leader

Racial equality quotes

Here are some powerful racial equality and Black equality quotes:

racial equality quotes
Oprah Winfrey, TV Personality (Image source: Aphrodite in NYC, Flickr)

“Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism.”

— Oprah Winfrey

“You can’t have equity if you don’t have large participation in the voting process,” says Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter.

Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Lives Matter (source: Time.com/Visions of Equity)

“Diversity doesn’t mean black and white only.”

— Henry Louis Gates Jr., Literary Critic

“Do not call for black power or green power. Call for brain power.”

— Barbara Jordan, Civil Rights Activist

“There is no such thing as race. None. There is just a human race — scientifically, anthropological.”

— Toni Morrison, American Novelist

“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”

— Maya Angelou, Poet & Civil Rights Activist

Re: the term “Culture Fit”
“I always tell people that when they say “culture fit,” what they mean [is] “bias.” Those two words are interchangeable”.

Re: the term I don’t see color.”
“If you say, “I don’t see color,” especially if you’re a leader, then people will have a hard time seeing you as authentic because you started with a lie. “I don’t see color” is a lie”

— Stacey Gordon, author of UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work 

“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., American Minister and Activist

“We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community—and this nation.”

— Cesar Chavez, Civil Rights Activist

“Half a century ago, the amazing courage of Rosa Parks, the visionary leadership of Martin Luther King, and the inspirational actions of the civil rights movement led politicians to write equality into the law and make real the promise of America for all her citizens.”

— David Cameron, British Politician for Prime Minister of the UK

“Gender and racially diverse teams perform better, innovate more, and improve economic quality.”

— Stephanie Lampkin, Blendoor, Founder & CEO

“If we were to select the most intelligent, imaginative, energetic, and emotionally stable third of mankind, all races would be present.”

— Franz Boas, Anthropologist

LGBT equality quotes

These LGBT equality quotes are also inspiring:

lgbt equality quotes
Charlize Theron, Actress (Image source: Wikipedia Creative Commons, Charlize Theron in 2017 by Gage Skidmore)

“Marriage equality is about more than just marriage. It’s about something greater. It’s about acceptance.”

— Charlize Theron

“Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.” –

— Barbara Gittings, American activist for LGBT equality

“There will not be a magic day when we wake up and it’s now okay to express ourselves publicly. We make that day by doing things publicly until it’s simply the way things are.”

– Tammy Baldwin, first openly gay Senator in the United States

“I’ve found more tolerance, acceptance and inclusion from social conservative groups who have to reconcile that I’m a Republican who happens to be gay…versus the intolerance the LGBT leaders see me as a gay man who happens to be a Republican.”

— Carl DeMaio, American Politician

“The pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness can become a reality for everyone if we eliminate issues standing in the way of improved race relations. I love this country and we’ve made so much progress, but we’re not there yet.”

— Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente

Quotes on equality from athletes

Here a few quotes on equality from athletes:

equality quotes
Jason Collins, First male professional athlete to publicly identify himself as gay (Image source: FlickrJason Collins)

“Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start.”

– Jason Collins

“You learn about equality in history and civics, but you find out life is not really like that.”

— Arthur Ashe, Tennis Player

“When we reach the point where the women athletes are getting their pick of dates just as easily as the men athletes, then we’ve really and truly arrived. Parity at last!”

— Billie Jean King, former American professional tennis player

Women’s equality quotes

Here are a few women’s equality quotes meant to inspire:

women's equality quotes
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (Image source: Wikipedia Public Domain)

“Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.”

— Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“I’m familiar with the verses they have quoted about wives being subjugated to their husbands….In my opinion, this is a distortion of the meaning of Scripture…I personally feel the Bible says all people are equal in the eyes of God. I personally feel that women should play an absolutely equal role in service of Christ in the church.”

Jimmy Carter, U.S. President, on why he severed ties with the Southern Baptist Church. Source: Paraphrased quote from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 2000.

“For a modern woman it is important to be supported and that there is equality in every aspect, and that it’s not two halves that make a whole – it’s two wholes that make a whole.”

Katy Perry, Musician

“The path to diversity begins with supporting, mentoring, and sponsoring diverse women and men to become leaders and entrepreneurs.”

— Denise Morrison, Former CEO of Campbell Soup Company

“Women’s rights is not only an abstraction, a cause; it is also a personal affair. It is not only about us; it is also about me and you. Just the two of us.”

— Toni Morrison, American Novelist

“Equal pay isn’t just a women’s issue; when women get equal pay, their family incomes rise and the whole family benefits.”

–Mike Honda

Gender equality quotes

Here’s a list of gender equality quotes we found:

gender equality quotes
Maya Angelou, Poet & Civil Rights Activist (Image source: Wikipedia Public Domain)

“We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.”

— Maya Angelou

“To be successful, a woman has to be much better at her job than a man.”

— Golda Meir, former Prime Minister of Israel

“We fundamentally believe that we will make better business decisions if we have diversity in thinking … and that requires equal gender participation.”

— Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup CEO

“Gender and racially diverse teams perform better, innovate more, and improve economic quality.”

— Stephanie Lampkin, Blendoor, Founder & CEO

“I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction. Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality.”

— Alice Paul, Gender Rights Activist

Equality quotes about the United States

These quotes on equality are specifically about America:

quotes on equality
Barack Obama, 44th U.S. President (Image source: Wikipedia Public Domain)

“I see what’s possible when we recognize that we are one American family, all deserving of equal treatment. “

— Barack Obama

“Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t carry just a piece of cloth to symbolize his belief in racial equality; he carried the American flag.

— Adrian Joseph Cronauer, U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class and radio personality

“It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

— Patricia Arquette, Academy Award Winner and Activist

“The word ‘equality’ shows up too much in our founding documents for anyone to pretend it’s not the American way.”

— Martha Plimpton, Actress

Funny quotes about equality

Here are some quotes on equality that might make you laugh:

quotes about equality
Bob Dylan, American singer-songwriter (Image source: Alberto Cabello Flickr)

“All this talk about equality. The only thing people really have in common is that they are all going to die.”

— Bob Dylan

“I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.”

— W. C. Fields, American Comedian

“I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.”

— Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Lawyer

“The year was 2081, and everyone was finally equal.”

— Kurt Vonnegut, American writer

“I believe the equal rights amendment is a necessity of life for all citizens. The cabinet sometimes felt that I shouldn’t be so outspoken.”

— Betty Ford, former First Lady of the United States

“The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes.”

— Bella Abzug, American Lawyer

Equity quotes

These 3 quotes about equity below are similar to the quotes on equality above but I list them here separately because some of you prefer the term equity over equality.

equity quotes
Marley Dias, Author & Activist (Image source: marleydias.com)

“I am unapologetic about the need for social change, greater inclusion, and equity.”

— Marley Dias

“Diversity is being invited to the dance. Inclusion is being asked to Dance. Equity is allowing you to choose the Music.”

― Cynthia Olmedo, Workforce Development Specialist

“The difference between equity and equality is that equality is everyone get the same thing and equity is everyone get the things they deserve.”

— DeRay Mckesson, Civil Rights Activist

Do you have any favorite quotes about equality?

This is a dynamic list, and we want to keep adding to it. If we missed any of your favorite quotes on equality, email Heather@ongig.com to get them added to this post.

Why I Wrote This?

Ongig’s mission is to transform your job descriptions to attract top-tier and diverse talent. Our Text Analyzer software analyzes every word of your job descriptions to help support equality in hiring.


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