Quotes

Bryan Stevenson Quotes

We have a choice: we can embrace our humanness and be brave, or we can deny it and be very, very small.

The opposite of poverty is not wealth. It’s justice.

Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.

Proximity has taught me some basic and humbling truths, including this vital lesson: Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice. Finally, I’ve come to believe that the true measure of our commitment to justice, the character of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness, and equality cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the respected among us. The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.

Proximity has taught me some basic and humbling truths, including this vital lesson: Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. My work has also convinced me that justice is qualitatively different from charity. When we engage in charity, we provide direct services to alleviate the pain and suffering of individuals. When we engage in justice, we dismantle the structures that create the need for charity. We work to prevent harm. We do this work because we believe in the worth of every human being.

I believe that in many parts of this country, and certainly in many parts of the world, we’re put at risk by our ignorance. We have deluded ourselves into accepting things that have become poisonous to the quest for justice and equality.

The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.

Mercy is just when it is rooted in hopefulness and freely given. Justice is most dangerous when it is justly deserved.

We cannot talk about creating healthier, just environments for children without challenging the bias and stigma that limits our compassion and suffocates our commitment to equal justice under law.

The power of just mercy is that it belongs to the undeserving. It’s when mercy is least expected that it’s most potent, strong enough to break the cycle of victimization and victimhood, retribution and suffering.

We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent.

We can’t really address the challenges of poverty, inequality, and injustice without acknowledging the role that race plays.

We’ve got to find ways to hear the narratives of people who have been excluded and marginalized, and we have to create more just and inclusive environments where their voices can be heard.

We’re all broken. We’ve all got our struggles. We’ve all got our sins.

Hopelessness is the enemy of justice.

We need to talk about things we haven’t talked about. The opposite of poverty is not wealth; it’s justice.

The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children.

Fear and anger are the essential tools of oppression.

To be faithful to our country, we have to be willing to protect our ideals and values, not just when they’re convenient, but when it is hard.

We cannot create justice while perpetuating inequality.

We’re here to talk about things that we’ve avoided talking about, things that we haven’t been honest about.

It is hopelessness that imprisons the condemned, not the bars and the bolts of the cell.

We must learn to get close to the suffering, the disadvantaged, and the forgotten if we want to create a more just society.

We need to become more comfortable with challenging and uncomfortable conversations if we are to make progress towards justice and equality.

Our system presumes that there is something better about being rich than being poor.

We don’t know somebody’s life when we don’t know somebody’s story.

We can’t effectively repair brokenness in our world unless we recognize our shared humanity and our shared brokenness.

Injustice prevails where hopelessness persists.

We are all implicated when we allow injustice to flourish.

We have to find ways to stay hopeful, even in the face of difficult challenges.

The politics of fear and anger have been very effective tools of oppression.

Sometimes we are too focused on punishment rather than redemption.

We have a choice: we can accept injustice or we can fight for justice.

We have to be willing to do uncomfortable things to create a more just society.

Injustice is a disease that flourishes where there is no hope.

We have to change the way we think in order to change the way we act.

Compassion and understanding are the antidotes to fear and prejudice.

Our history of racial inequality continues to haunt us today.

To create a more just society, we must confront the biases and prejudices that divide us.

We must challenge the systems and structures that perpetuate inequality and injustice.

We must not be complacent in the face of injustice.

We must be willing to listen to and learn from those who have been marginalized and oppressed.

We have a responsibility to use our privilege and power to advocate for others.

Change is possible, but it requires courage and perseverance.

Justice requires more than just laws; it requires empathy and understanding.

We must refuse to accept the status quo and work for a better future.

We cannot afford to be silent in the face of injustice.

We must strive for equality, not just for some, but for all.

We must seek to understand before passing judgment.

Together, we can create a more just and compassionate society.


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