Here are some of my favourite diversity quotes. They are useful for discussion in training sessions and as a warm up for a meeting about diversity.
“If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.”
“No single tradition monopolizes the truth. We must glean the best values of all traditions and work together to remove the tensions between traditions in order to give peace a chance.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist Monk and Scholar
“The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.”
John F. Kennedy
“America is not like a blanket—one piece of unbroken cloth. America is more like a quilt— many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven together by a common thread.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
“We may have come over on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.”
Whitney Young, Jr.
“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.”
“Men hate each other because they fear each other, and they fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they are often separated from each other.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.”
“A good way to start a conversation about whether a corporate culture is inclusive is to ask, “What would your daughter think about working here?” or, “Do you think your daughter—or niece or granddaughter—would find it easy to make as successful a career here as you have?”
“All landlords know that the quality of their repairs and maintenance operations, above all their services, determines how they are judged by their customers. These customers are an increasingly diverse group – including households headed by women, individuals with disabilities, elderly or young residents, people of different ethnic or faith backgrounds, or households comprising lesbian, gay or bisexual people.”
Rt Hon Nick Raynsford