60 Speak Up Quotes To Be A Voice and Not an Echo

Your voice is important, and these speak-up quotes serve as a reminder that your voice matters.

Let us know which of these speak-up quotes is your favorite in the comment section below.

There is an ancient Japanese proverb that says, “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”

While many have often attributed this idiom to describe the value of Japanese people maintaining their culture by conforming to it, the wisdom of the proverb transcends boundaries and limitations.

The idea is that those who are too different or conspicuous get criticized, judged, and even sanctioned by their community and their institutions.

However, conversely, if all the nails stick up, it is the ones who remain fully immersed who become the odd ones out.

Across the planet, people are choosing to stand up for what they believe in and use their voices to challenge paradigms that no longer serve us or are out of alignment with our growth.

Speak up!

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Read more related content on our inspirational quotes category page.

Short speak-up quotes that prove you don’t need lots of words

1. “Be a voice not an echo.” — Albert Einstein

speak up quotes that prove you don’t need lots of words

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2. “Be open and speak your mind.” — Dr. Anil Kumar

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3. “If you don’t like it, say something.” ― Joyce Rachelle

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4. “To say nothing is saying something.” — Germany Kent

speak up quotes To say nothing is saying something

5. “Speak up. Believe in yourself. Take risks.” — Sheryl Sandberg

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6. “The act of speaking out may make you feel alone.” — Ravish Kumar 

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7. “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” — Elie Wiesel

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8. “We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.” — Audre Lorde

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9. “Never separate the life you live from the words you speak.” — Paul Wellstone

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10. “I always think before I speak. I always think: ‘I think I’ll speak now.’” ― The Covert Comic

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Speak up quotes about the importance of truth, honor, and justice

11. “Speak the truth, or it will reveal itself.” ― Titon Rahmawan

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12. “Stop holding your truth; speak your truth.” — Tiffany Haddish

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13. “Be humble: have the courage to speak the truth.” ― Ken Poirot

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14. “It is always the best policy to speak the truth.” — Jerome K. Jerome

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15. “A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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speak up quotes about justice

16. “A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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17. “Speak the truth. People will forgive an honest mistake; they won’t forgive you if you lie.” — Mark Goulston

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18. “Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” — Mahatma Gandhi

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19. “Giggles can spread from person to person. So can blushing. But maybe the most powerful, infectious thing is the act of speaking the truth.” — Vera Nazarian

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20. “Choosing with integrity means finding ways to speak up that honor your reality, the reality of others, and your willingness to meet in the center of that large field.” — Terry Tempest Williams 

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Speak up quotes about the dangers of silence

21. “Never hush your voice for someone’s comfort.” — Terry Pratchett

speak up quotes about the dangers of silence

22. “If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.” — Albert Einstein

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23. “My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.” — Audre Lorde

Wise speak up quotes

24. “No man can safely speak, unless he who would gladly remain silent.” ― Thomas à Kempis

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25. “Every voice raised against racism chips away at its power. We can’t afford to stay silent.” — Reni Eddo-Lodge

speak up quotes about voice

26. “The silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” — Haile Selassie

27. “Do not be silent; there is no limit to the power that may be released through you.” — Howard Thurman, Deep Is the Hunger

28. “When you have something to say, silence is a lie—and tyranny feeds on lies.” ― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

29. “Staying quiet to keep the peace can be a good thing, but if the peace has already been disturbed, staying quiet won’t make anything better.” — Doe Zantamata

30. “What is the source of our first suffering? It lies in the fact that we hesitated to speak. It was born in the moment when we accumulated silent things within us.” — Gaston Bachelard

Speak up quotes about when you are afraid

31. “It’s just that I am not afraid to speak my mind.” — Alan Sugar

32. “If you feel something is wrong, don’t be afraid to speak up.” — Fred Korematsu

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33. “Summon your courage and speak up when you feel the need to.” — Doe Zantamata

34. “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.” — Elie Wiesel

35. “Each of us needs to find our own sources of courage so that we can begin to speak.” — Beverly Tatum

36. “Just remember to always be yourself and do not be afraid to speak your mind to others.” — JA Redmerski

37. “Don’t be afraid of speaking your mind because that is what makes you different from the rest.” — Dave Thomas

38. “He who does not have the courage to speak up for his rights can not earn the respect of others.” — Rene Dubos

39. “We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we learn to work and speak when we are tired.” — Audre Lorde

40. “I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves.” — Audre Lorde

Speak up quotes to help you reflect on the value of your voice

41. “Just speak yourself into existence.” — Nick Cannon

42. “I will stand up, I will speak out for not to offend but to defend.” — Evelyn Beatrice Hall

43. “Not speaking up against pure evil is equal to cooperating with it.” — Constance Chuks Friday

44. “Give yourself permission to say NO. Do not feel guilty, mean, or selfish.” — Stephanie Lahart

45. “Someone has to stand up and speak for the freedoms of the little guy.” — Christopher Monckton

46. “If you are not going to speak up, how will the world know of your existence?” — Anonymous

47. “I just sort of became an adult and started speaking up for myself and not apologizing for myself.” — Fernando Torres

48. “The speaking will get easier and easier. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them.” — Audre Lorde

49. “It’s not unpatriotic to denounce an injustice committed on our behalf. Perhaps it’s the most patriotic thing we can do.” — E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

50. “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” — Robert F Kennedy

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51. “I wouldn’t call it a silver lining, but with more women speaking up, online harassment is beginning to be taken more seriously.” ― Anita Sarkeesian

52. “I am glad to see the wheels are moving at last toward comprehensive immigration reform after last year’s election. I am glad that immigrants are speaking up.” ― Andrew Lam

53. “More women speaking up and seizing the helm of power can create its own momentum. It can change the culture that helps perpetuate those external forces.” ― Nancy Birdsall

54. “For every time we regret keeping still, there are about ten times we regret speaking up.” ― James Alexander Thom

55. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ― Winston Churchill

56. “Women speaking up for themselves and for those around them is the strongest force we have to change the world.” ― Melinda Gates

57. “Let’s acknowledge the difference between speaking up with intention and speaking up for attention.” ― Monica Lewinsky

58. “It’s very often the artist who gives a voice to the voiceless by speaking up when no one else will.” ― Barbra Streisand

59. “There’s something so healthy about young people speaking up in unity.” ― Robbie Robertson

60. “You can be the outcast or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love. Or you can start speaking up.” ― Sara Bareilles

Don’t be afraid to use your voice

Scientist Albert Einstein and writers Audre Lorde and Elie Wiesel are well known for their strong belief in the need for every human being to use their voice.

Einstein famously encouraged everyone to “Be a voice and not an echo.”

This means your voice should represent your heart’s feelings and your mind’s thoughts, rather than just parroting what you hear others say.

Regarding more extreme conditions, Elie Wiesel reminds us that “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Our voices are strong as individuals, but they are exceptionally powerful when we form them in unison with others.

It is not always easy, and it can sometimes be scary. However, it is doable.

Audre Lorde lamented that “We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we learn to work and speak when we are tired.”

What are some things or ideas you speak up for? Let us know in the comment section!

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