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10 Inspiring Human Rights Quotes

Looking for inspiration? Our list of 10 motivating quotes features historic figures, Fund staff, and grassroots activists on bringing social justice, dignity, and equality to all people.

These quotes reflect the voices of people striving for a better world and our own approach to investing in the world’s most effective grassroots activists and groups on tackling critical human rights challenges.


Eleanor Roosevelt examines The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home.

– Eleanor Roosevelt




Denia (right) meets with community members protesting land grabs.

Human rights mean the right to good health, a dignified life, and respect for the will of everyday people.

– Denia Castillo, land rights activist with MASSVIDA, Honduras

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at a press conference held at Shaw University in Raleigh, NC in April of 1960.

A right delayed is a right denied.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.




The achievement of social and economic rights cannot be separated from the protection of civil and political rights and liberties.

Maria Alesi, Program Officer with the Fund




Local activists are changing the power dynamics in their communities—that’s what creates change over time.

Regan Ralph, President and CEO of the Fund




LGBTQ community members at a RSM meeting

Pride…is the freedom to express oneself… to walk in the street without be afraid of being judged.

– Jérémie Safari,LGBTQ activist with Rainbow Sunrise Mapambazuko), the DRC



ESG protects the environment, lives, and livelihoods of people in India’s Karnataka state.

You don’t solve climate problems just by going to Paris or Geneva. You do it by working locally.

– Leo Saldanha, environmental activist with Environment Support Group, India

Interested in Climate justice?

Find out more about our environmental work with activists on our climate justice page.

Human rights mean no one sleeps hungry.

– Hassan Abdille, human rights activist (formerly with MUHURI), Kenya



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