Diversity is now more important than ever in our classrooms especially those with mixed ethnicities as well as different backgrounds.
By understanding diversity, its advantages, its nature, we can help promote tolerance in our classrooms, allowing our pupils to connect with each other as well as people from different backgrounds.
Teaching diversity can help us empathize but can also aid learning greatly.
By inciting curiosity of other cultures kids can develop an enjoyment of things like sociology, anthropology, and philosophy more generally, as wella s studies of religion, culture, and identity itself.
Here are some of our favorite quotes about diversity, inclusivity, and tolerance that can bring your classroom together, encourage curiosity, and help improve pupils’ learning experiences in your classroom!
Quotes About Diversity
1. “In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” – Maya Angelou
This simply shows kids that diversity isn’t something to be afraid of, that what is different can help us learn and grow.
If we have a positive relationship with diversity we can recognize its beauty while also getting the benefits out of what diversity can bring. Fundamentally, what is different is an opportunity to learn and grow.
2. “Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.” – Anonymous, The Happy Soul Project
This is a quote that points out the paradoxical nature of diversity. THe fact we are all different is something we have in common.
When someone feels different or foreign to us, it is this difference, this diversity, that actually relates us to another person.
Even with those who we share gender and race can still be extremely different to us, we are all different, and thus the same.
3. “Difference is the essence of humanity. The answer to the difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.” – John Hume
This gets to the heart of being human, to be different. The nature of life is that we all experience it differently, no matter who you are, and to realize this is to learn to enjoy life.
Hume also points out an obvious tenant of peace, to respect diversity. This also points to the opposite, that if we don’t come to understand and respect diversity we will ultimately succumb to war.
4. “Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.” – Mikhail Gorbachev
Gobachev makes an important point here, as Hume has, that there is no peace without an acceptance of diversity. That in fact we are united with others because of diversity not because of similarities. There is no unity without diversity.
5. “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” – Henry David Thoreau
Here Thoreua presents a method for understanding diversity – to look through someone else’s eyes and see the world as they do.
That if only for a moment we could understand how someone else sees the world, that they have a completely different experience of life than us, then we can quickly realize the nature of diversity itself.
But Thoreau also points out that this would be a miraculous event, meaning it can never happen, and that in spite of this we must try to empathize and understand the diversity of perception without literally seeing through someone’s eyes.
6. “United we stand, divided we fall.” – Aesop
Aesop is full of great quotes and this one is no different, as he sums up the sentiment of diversity in a succinct manner. If we do not accept diversity and we do not band together we will always fail in whatever we try to do.
It is the nature of division that will ultimately get in the way of progress.
7. “We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.” – Kofi Annan
This can be easy for kids to understand, that no matter how diverse we all are, no matter how different someone may be to you, that we are all actually the same species.
Anyone can understand this by simply accepting that we are all human, and the buck stops there.
8. “We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” – Jimmy Carter
Here Carter successfully critiques the term melting pot. Melting pot is often a blanket term we use to describe diversity but actually lends itself more to gentrification and sublimation.
In fact, we shouldn’t try to melt everyone’s diversity into one singular entity, but we should instead celebrate diversity itself.
9. “We all live with the objective of being happy: our lives are all different and yet the same.” – Anne Frank
Anne Frank was someone who suffered greatly under a regime that fought against diversity, but here she points out a different fact that links us all together.
That no matter how different we all are, we all have the same goal to find happiness, and that should be enough for us to unify together.
10. “The things that we share in our world are far more valuable than those which divide us.” – Donald Williams
The fact that we are all different is what makes each one of us unique. Our own sense of identity and ego is almost totally reliant on the fact that we are unique and completely different to each other
11. “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” – Verna Myers
This is a really great quote that can promote inclusion as well as diversity in a way that young children can even understand.
We can recognize diversity by accepting people into our culture and society but it is when everyone is directly included in the activities and integral parts of that culture, recognized as equals, that inclusion has truly been achieved.
12. “Until we get equality in education, we won’t have an equal society.” – Sonia Sotomayor
This is an interesting take on diversity, that it can’t necessarily be learnt, or is problematic to learn, but that diversity must be taught from the ground up. That if we as teachers don’t push diversity as a topic itself, our pupils could suffer.
13. “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend.” – Thomas Jefferson
This is another great quote from Thomas Jefferson that is in plain English and is easy to understand.
He makes the very valid point, even kids can understand, that simply because we disagree with someone, or they have different experience of something, that doesn;t necessarily mean we can;t be friends with them.
In fact, differences in opinions is exactly how we learn about other people’s experiences, and being able to accept differences in opinion shows a knowledge and acceptance of diversity.
14. “Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.” – Malcolm Forbes
‘Thinking independently together’ is almost an oxymoron, but demonstrates the paradoxical thinking of celebrating diversity in order to be more together.
When we can learn to work together while also accepting the integral role of independence and diversity within unity itself, then we can really achieve greatness.
15. “You don’t have true freedom until you allow a diversity of opinion and a diversity of voices.” – Don Lemon
Don lemon here is basically arguing that without diversity we aren’t truly free. That to close off your mind to what is different, and only accept what you want or agree with means you are actually trapped within your own prejudice.
16. “A democracy thrives on diversity. Tyranny oppresses it.” – Sam Brownback
If we really want to live in a democracy where everyone has an opinion we have to let diversity shine through, and actually allow diversity of opinion and culture to actually sustain the democracy itself.
Without this diversity and reliance on it, we will end up with a tyrannical society where we oppress opinions that differ from our own.
17. “Diversity and inclusion, which are the real grounds for creativity, must remain at the center of what we do.” – Marco Bizzarri
Bizzari points out something interesting, that we cannot learn what we don’t know. When we embrace diversity and inclusion, this being at the center of our being, we can learn and in turn be creative.
Creativity relies on nuance and new things, which we cannot have, nor progress, without an acceptance and celebration of difference itself.
As you can see, diversity is really important and is something that we should really focus on in the education system.
As Sonia Sotomayor points out, we may have to teach diversity rather than allow it to occur naturally, which is a conversation we have to have whether diversity can be innate in us or it is something we must teach.
Having different people muse on diversity in the form of quotes is something that is really useful and helpful even for kids, to see someone else describe it.
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