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25 Empowering Quotes About Diversity From Influential Leaders

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In today’s society, we are often told that diversity is a good thing. However, many don’t know what it actually means to be diverse. Diversity is the word used to describe any group of people who are different from one another and share some common ground. The definition can be broadened even further and include things like age, culture, race or ethnicity, etc., but for now, let’s stick with the basics. We live in a world where there is more than one type of person so when you talk about diversity, you’re referring to differences in attitudes and opinions as well as appearance.

​​As the co-author of the international bestselling book, Bias, Racism and the Brain, I have to admit that I drew inspiration from a number of sources over the course of my writing journey. I devoured books and articles about Martin Luther King, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois, Maya Angelou, Civil Rights Activist Ron Chew, among others. Their words informed my writing, but they also opened my mind and heart to the idea that we have the power to create the sacred dream that Dr. King envisioned in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Diversity and inclusion are about believing that individual differences are to be celebrated and embraced. Diversity and inclusion mean celebrating those pieces of our life that make us wonderfully different. Diversity breeds creativity, and our ability to see the world differently than others will give us a clear advantage over our competition.

So with that, here are my top 25 quotes about diversity to inspire you to think bigger and achieve more.

  1. “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  2. “We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.” Galileo Galilei
  3. “Diversity isn’t just skin deep; it’s cultural, religious, political and beyond.” Barack Obama
  4. It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” Dr. Maya Angelou
  5. “Diversity is not a quota, or something to check off a list; it’s an expectation.” Sundar Pichai
  6. When we’re talking about diversity, it’s not a box to check. It is a reality that should be deeply felt and held and valued by all of us.” Ava DuVernay
  7. “The more diverse your team members are from one another, the better decisions they’ll make on behalf of your company.” Michelle Obama
  8. “Diversity is not about who you are or what you look like. It’s about how we think and act.” Dr. Edward Tufte
  9. Everybody has a story… Once you know another person’s true story, it changes your life because you develop some empathy and it makes you a better person.” Ron Chew 
  10. “I am grateful for my life because I have been able to do things that help people understand each other better.” Nelson Mandela 
  11. “It’s hard to hate up close.” William Faulkner 
  12. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
  13. “We are not a collection of communities from diverse backgrounds to form an alliance; we are one community.” Dr. Maya Angelou
  14. “The beauty in diversity is when you see people who are different from you accomplishing things that you didn’t think were possible.” John Legend
  15. “If your goal is to be less prejudiced than your parents, then it won’t work because they’re still going to be more prejudiced than you.” Tim Wise   
  16. “The most diverse group will produce the best ideas.” Jack Ma
  17. “Diversity is never a weakness, it’s always a strength.” Tim Cook
  18. “Inclusion and tolerance of others does not weaken us but makes us stronger.” Dalai Lama XIV
  19. “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” Malcolm X
  20. “I think that the good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice.” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 
  21. Diversity isn’t just about who you hire or what they look like, it’s also about thinking differently as leaders in driving an innovative culture within your organization.” Satya Nadella
  22. “When you have people with different backgrounds working together, they come up with new ideas that no one would have thought about on their own.” Richard Branson
  23. “Diversity matters because if you don’t have diverse perspectives, you’ll never come up with an innovative idea for solving a problem.” Jami Miscik 
  24. “Racism sucks, plain and simple.” Phil Dixon 
  25. “The more diverse your team is, the greater its creativity will be.” Margaret Heffernan 

In order for you to achieve all your goals in life, you must be willing to push back any notion of what society says is possible for people like you. Diversity will empower you to do great things in this world because it enables you to think big without boundaries!

Jason Greer is the Founder and President of Greer Consulting, Inc. (GCI), a Labor-Management and Employee Relations Consulting firm located in St Louis. Jason is the "Go To" Diversity Expert for WTOP Radio in Washington DC and a trusted source in the latest race and labor relations news for media across the country, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and FOX News Radio.

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