At Good Good Good, we celebrate people who fight to make the world a better place. We believe each of us has the ability to find a way to make a difference — to create a better future.

Through the years, we've collected the best quotes from activists, civil rights leaders, environmentalists, pacifists, grassroots activists, political leaders, and more. And now we're sharing our (growing) list publicly.

As you read through these famous quotes from inspiring leaders, it's important to remember that none of these icons began their activism in the public eye.

Each of these leaders began by identifying a problem or injustice in the world — and deciding to do something about it.

You have the opportunity to find one way to get involved and make a difference in an issue you care about.

Whether it's fighting for racial justice, combatting climate change, standing up for animal rights, or any number of other important topics.

May these inspirational quotes — about social change, political activism quotes, quotes about changing the world, short quotes, long quotes, and quotes about humanity and peace — leave you feeling ready to stand up for good.

The most powerful quotes from activists about social justice and making a difference in the world:

“Activism is my rent for living on the planet.”
— Alice Walker, American writer & social activist

“Activism is my rent for living on the planet.” — Alice Walker

“The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.”
― Kurt Cobain, American musician & LGBTQ+ rights activist

“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.”
— Dr. Maya Angelou, American poet & civil rights activist

“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.” — Dr. Maya Angelou

“Do it! What are you waiting on? Do it! Stand up for what you believe in. The world needs your voice. Whoever you are, you have something to say. Say it.”
Kerry Washington, American actress, director, and activist 

“I've found the cure for depression is action”
— Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia & climate activist

“I've found the cure for depression is action” — Yvon Chouinard

“I have a little different definition of evil than most people. When you have the opportunity and the ability to do good and you do nothing, that's evil. Evil doesn't always have to be an overt act, it can be merely the absence of good.”
— Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia & climate activist

→ Read more quotes from Yvon Chouinard about sustainability and adventure

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
— Arthur Ashe, American tennis athlete & civil rights activist

“We can't just hope for a brighter day, we have to work for a brighter day. Love too often gets buried in a world of hurt and fear. And we have to work to dig it out so we can share it with our family, our friends, and our neighbors.”
— Dolly Parton, singer, songwriter, and humanitarian

“We can't just hope for a brighter day, we have to work for a brighter day. Love too often gets buried in a world of hurt and fear. And we have to work to dig it out so we can share it with our family, our friends, and our neighbors.” — Dolly Parton

→ Read more Dolly Parton quotes

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr., American civil rights leader

→ Read more quotes about good news

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
— Angela Davis, American political activist & academic

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” — Angela Davis
From the Centerfold Poster inside of Issue 19 of the Goodnewspaper / Illustration by Goodnewspaper Art Director Carra Sykes

“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, American political activist & academic

“Peace is the opposite of dreaming. It’s built slowly and surely through brutal compromises and tiny victories that you don’t even see. It’s a messy business, bringing peace into the world.”
— Bono, musician & co-founder of Product (RED) and ONE

→ Read more quotes from Bono

“The world is full of what seem like intractable problems. Often we let that paralyze us. Instead, let is spur you to action. There are some people in the world that we can't help, but there are so many more that we can. So when you see a mother and her children suffering in another part of the world, don't look away. Look right at them. Let them break your heart, then let your empathy and your talents help you make a difference in the lives of others. Whether you volunteer every week or just a few times a year, your time and unique skills are invaluable.”
— Melinda Gates, American philanthropist & co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”
— Dorothy Day, Catholic social activist & journalist

“No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.” — Dorothy Day

“Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.”
— James Baldwin, American writer & social activist

“When you see something that is not just, not fair, or not right, you have to do something. You have to say something. Make a little noise. It's time for us to get into good trouble, necessary trouble.”
— John Lewis, leader within American civil rights movements & former congressman

→ Read more quotes about justice

“Pick up the battle and make it a better world. Just where you are.”
— Dr. Maya Angelou, American poet & civil rights activist

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say 'It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.' Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”
— Fred Rogers, host of the educational television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say 'It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.' Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” — Mister Fred Rogers

“All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we're giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That's one of the things that connects us as neighbors — in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver.”
— Fred Rogers, host of educational television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

→ Read more Mister Rogers quotes

“The children almost broken by the world become the adults most likely to change it.”
Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret and mental health activist

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
— Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican bishop & human rights and anti-apartheid activist

Read more Desmond Tutu quotes

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“A joyful rebellion is you living differently not because you’re mad at how things are but because you are swelling with joy at the thought of how things could be.”
— Kid President

“Let future generations say we were the ones who stood up. Let them say we were the first to live in a world where all girls can learn and lead without fear.”
— Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist for women's education & Nobel Peace Prize laureate

“Let future generations say we were the ones who stood up. Let them say we were the first to live in a world where all girls can learn and lead without fear.” — Malala Yousafzai

→ Read more quotes from Malala

“As activists trying to dismantle the system and fight against structural inequities, we need to take care of our own health — emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually — in order to sustain ourselves and our movements.”
— Gloria Walton, CEO of The Solutions Project

“I cannot prevent anyone from getting angry, or mad, or frustrated. I can only hope that they’ll turn that anger and frustration and madness into something positive”
— Harvey Milk, first openly gay elected official in California

→ Read more Harvey Milk quotes

“Action is the antidote to despair.”
— Joan Baez, American singer-songwriter & activist

“Action is the antidote to despair.” — Joan Baez

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States & co-founder of the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU

→ Read more of the best RBG quotes

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“Every action, no matter how small, is like drips on a rock—over time, they can carve a canyon through even the thickest, most immovable layer of rock.”
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action

“Gentleness can be a great strength, and quiet action can sometimes speak as powerfully amid the noise as the loudest voice.”
Sarah Corbett, on craftivism: the art of gentle protest

“People are not sitting down, people are taking action. And women are at the forefront of these actions.”
— Joan Carling, Indigenous human rights activist and environmentalist

Activism Quote: “People are not sitting down, people are taking action. And women are at the forefront of these actions.” — Joan Carling, Indigenous Filipino human rights activist and environmentalist

“If it doesn't make the world better, don't do it.”
Brad Montague, New York Times Bestselling author & creator of Kid President

If it doesn't make the world better, don't do it. — Brad Montague quote

“Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing.”
— Audre Lorde, American writer, feminist, and civil rights activist

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.”
— Frederick Douglass

If you love quotes about making a difference — you'll love the Goodnewspaper, our monthly print newspaper filled with good news.

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