109+ Best Activism Quotes by Prominent Activists

Activism consists of efforts to push, protest and demand for social, political, economic, or environmental reform and activists have played major roles to make changes in society. Empowering activism quotes will give the inspiration for activists and empower to change their communities for the better.

If you’re searching for famous life sayings that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of favorite author quotes, powerful quotes by philosophers, and top poetry quotes.

Inspirational Activism Quotes

The duty of youth is to challenge corruption. – Kurt Cobain

I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good. – Maya Angelou

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. – Elie Wiesel

Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world. – Dolores Huerta

Activism is a very admirable way to create change, but it has to go hand in hand with personal contact with the people with whom we have opposing points of view; without that, there will never be any movement. – Michael Feinstein

Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence. – Ovid

It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result. – Mahatma Gandhi

Things will only improve when the people – all of us – say to authorities, ‘I will hold you responsible.’ We should all be showing up at city council meetings, lighting up every community with activism and mobilization. – Erin Brockovich

Don’t let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on the big inequities. It will be one of the great experiences of your lives. – Bill Gates

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King Jr.

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. – Rosa Parks

I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole. – Malcolm X

powerful activism sayings from activists

Burnout is a way of telling you that your form of activism was perhaps not very full circle. – Gloria Steinem

We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced. – Malala Yousafzai

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela

wise activism quotes

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. – Mahatma Gandhi

Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings, to convert the population into specimens in a zoo – obedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other. – Angela Davis

motivational quotes to inspire activism

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. – Harriet Tubman

Most activism is brought about by us ordinary people. – Patricia Hill Collins

Short Activism Quotes

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. – Gloria Steinem

If women want any rights more than they’d got, why don’t they just take them, and not be talking about it. – Sojourner Truth

Don’t follow the path. Go where there is no path and begin the trail. When you start a new trail equipped with courage, strength and conviction, the only thing that can stop you is you! – Ruby Bridges

Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures. – Cesar Chavez

activism quotes

Wherever women gather together failure is impossible. – Susan B. Anthony

It’s never too late – never too late to start over, never too late to be happy. – Jane Fonda

The dream was not to put one black family in the White House, the dream was to make everything equal in everybody’s house. – Al Sharpton

Give light and people will find the way. – Ella Baker

famous quotes on activism

The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. – Jane Addams

We are powerful because we have survived. – Audre Lorde

No one will do for you what you need to do for yourself. We cannot afford to be separate. We have to see that all of us are in the same boat. – Dorothy Height

This world crisis came about without women having anything to do with it. If the women of the world had not been excluded from world affairs, things today might have been different. – Alice Paul

most powerful activism sayings by famous activists ever

Peace cannot exist without justice, justice cannot exist without fairness, fairness cannot exist without development, development cannot exist without democracy, democracy cannot exist without respect for the identity and worth of cultures and peoples. – Rigoberta Menchu

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. – James Baldwin

We must join with the tens of millions all over the world who see in peace our most sacred responsibility. – Paul Robeson

Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul. – Dorothy Day

activism quotes to inspire change

I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. – Ralph Nader

If you haven’t forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others? – Dolores Huerta

I’m not alone, I’m free. I no longer have to be a credit; I don’t have to be a symbol to anybody; I don’t have to be a first to anybody. – Lena Horne

Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one. – John Lennon

inspirational activist quotes

When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him. – Bayard Rustin

There is a spirit and a need and a man at the beginning of every great human advance. Every one of these must be right for that particular moment of history, or nothing happens. – Coretta Scott King

Famous Activist Quotes About Activism

We too often bind ourselves by authorities rather than by the truth. – Lucretia Mott

If slaughterhouses had glass walls, the whole world would be vegetarian. – Linda McCartney

powerful quotes by famous activist

The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls. – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

To the wrongs that need resistance, To the right that needs assistance, To the future in the distance, Give yourselves. – Carrie Chapman Catt

Protest is telling the truth in public. Sometimes protest is telling the truth to a public that isn’t quite ready to hear it. Protest is, in its own way, a storytelling. We use our bodies, our words, our art, and our sounds both to tell the truth about the pain that we endure and to demand the justice that we know is possible. It is meant to build and to force a response. – DeRay Mckesson

Give us what belongs to us in peace, and if you don’t give it to us in peace, we will take it by force. – Emma Goldman

most motivating activism sayings by famous activists ever

The right to know is the right to live. – Aruna Roy

You don’t fight racism with racism, the best way to fight racism is with solidarity. – Bobby Seale

Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful. – Kailash Satyarthi

Let me just say: Peace to you, if you’re willing to fight for it. – Fred Hampton

profound quotes from activists

We build the path as we can, rock by rock. – Hosea Williams

In Nicaragua, liberty, equality and the rule of law were the stuff of dreams. But in Paris I discovered the value of those words. – Bianca Jagger

I have been known for some time as a person who speaks the truth and speaks it strongly. I have always called a liar a liar and a hypocrite a hypocrite. – Cindy Sheehan

We first fought the heathens in the name of religion, then Communism, and now in the name of drugs and terrorism. Our excuses for global domination always change. – Serj Tankian

quotes about activism

Without a struggle, there can be no progress. – Frederick Douglass

If you try to do your best there is no failure. – Mike Farrell

We must continue to unite in sisterhood to turn our tears into triumph. There is no time to rest until our world achieves wholeness and balance, where all men and women are considered equal and free. – Leymah Gbowee

I don’t know what the future may hold, but I know who holds the future. – Ralph Abernathy

quotes about activism

Often, to be free means the ability to deal with the realities of one’s own situation so as not to be overcome by them. – Howard Thurman

My ministry’s always been one of social activism. I think a responsible minister must be at some levels involved in the social order. – Al Sharpton

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. – Steve Biko

A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you. – Ramsey Clark

thought-provoking quotes by prominent activists

You are either part of the solution or part of the problem. – Eldridge Cleaver

Youths are passed through schools that don’t teach, then forced to search for jobs that don’t exist and finally left stranded in the street to stare at the glamorous lives advertised around them. – Huey Newton

I guarantee that the seed you plant in love, not matter how small, will grow into a mighty tree of refuge. We all want a future for ourselves and we must now care enough to create, nurture and secure a future for our children. – Afeni Shakur

Avoiding offense means that we don’t accept each other as equals. – Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. – Elie Wiesel

Powerful Activist Quotes To Inspire Activism

I think the importance of doing activist work is precisely because it allows you to give back and to consider yourself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever but to be a part of an ongoing historical movement. – Angela Davis

We may be personally defeated, but our principles never! – William Lloyd Garrison

Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truth. – Liu Xiaobo

most inspiring activism sayings by famous activists ever

The idea of cultural relativism is nothing but an excuse to violate human rights. – Shirin Ebadi

The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them. – Ida B. Wells

An exchange of empathy provides an entry point for a lot of people to see what healing feels like. – Tarana Burke

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. – Desmond Tutu

most encouraging activism sayings by famous activists ever

Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have. – Saul Alinsky

Here we are, the most clever species ever to have lived. So how is it we can destroy the only planet we have? – Jane Goodall

I always say to people, “If you share my dream, why don’t we walk together?” And that’s my only organizing tool. – Harry Hay

I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance. – bell hooks

inspirational activism sayings from activists

I never stop to plan. I take things step-by-step. – Mary McLeod Bethune

It is easy to cut down the tree of liberty, but not so easy to restore it to life. – Toussaint Louverture

Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it. – Marian Wright Edelman

Leadership is building a bridge that connects the vision with the purpose, in order to empower those who are around us. – David Walker

best activism sayings by famous activists ever

We used this attack on us as a platform to reach more people with what we’d been talking about anyway, which was segregation and housing and racism. If you do that, if you use every attack as a platform, they can’t win and you can’t lose cause if they leave you alone you go right on organizing, if they attack you you’re gonna have a platform to reach a lot more people. So, you really can’t lose. And it really works like a charm. When we are 80 years old, I think we will have no regrets. – Anne Braden

I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it. – Thomas Paine

Positive Activism Quotes

So, transform yourself first… Because you are young and have dreams and want to do something meaningful, that in itself, makes you our future and our hope. Keep expanding your horizon, decolonize your mind, and cross borders. – Yuri Kochiyama

If the white man gives you anything – just remember when he gets ready, he will take it right back. We have to take for ourselves. – Fannie Lou Hamer

activism sayings by famous activists

I’m sorry, but I think if we stick to those categories of race, class and gender, we are stuck. – Grace Lee Boggs

If you are not personally free to be yourself in that most important of all human activities… the expression of love… then life itself loses its meaning. – Harvey Milk

Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops. – Kate Sheppard

With confidence, you have won before you have started. – Marcus Garvey

wise activist quotes

Being an activist and an artist – those two things should go together. You should allow the artistic sensibility to control some of your activism, but never should it be allowed to paralyze you. – Bill Ayers

Naturally, when one makes progressive steps, there may be some who see it as a betrayal of their goals and interests. – Louis Farrakhan

Being an activist is about getting things done. It’s not about standing around shaking your fist in anger. – Christine Quinn

If Congress refuse to listen to and grant what women ask, there is but one course left then to pursue. What is there left for women to do but to become the mothers of the future government? – Victoria Woodhull

Activists need to get the facts right. One of the big assets we have on our side is the truth, and we lose credibility and power if we’re lose with that. – Annie Leonard

There are all the activist groups on every imaginable topic – solidarity groups, environmental and feminist groups – sectors of these movements do very valuable work. – Noam Chomsky

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right. – Aretha Franklin

The work of the political activist inevitably involves a certain tension between the requirement that position be taken on current issues as they arise and the desire that one’s contributions will somehow survive the ravages of time. – Angela Y. Davis

I know not age, nor weariness nor defeat. – Rose Kennedy

Don’t be a witness. Be an activist. – DaShanne Stokes

There has been only a civil rights movement, whose tone of voice was adapted to an audience of liberal whites. – Stokely Carmichael

Here, before God, in the presence of these witnesses, from this time, I consecrate my life to the destruction of slavery! – John Brown

Any war that requires the suspension of reason as a necessity for support is a bad war. – Norman Mailer

Newton’s Fourth Law: Every action has an equal and opposite satisfaction. – Dorothy Parker

Oppressed people, whatever their level of formal education, have the ability to understand and interpret the world around them, to see the world for what it is, and move to transform it. – Ella Baker

I think even lying on my bed I can still do something. – Dorothea Dix

An activist is someone who cannot help but fight for something. That person is not usually motivated by a need for power or money or fame, but in fact is driven slightly mad by some injustice, some cruelty, some unfairness, so much so that he or she is compelled by some internal moral engine to act to make it better. – Eve Ensler