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Activists know that social movements are often comprised of long roads paved with many hardships that can be incredibly daunting and sometimes even paralyzing. Yet, it is by working together and overcoming these challenges that successes are achieved.

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

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In the five TED Talks below, we hope you’ll find motivators to turn to for a shot of encouragement when the going gets tough. And we hope too that they’ll inspire you to never, ever give up on making the world a better place.

1. Bryan Stevenson on injustice and the power of identity

Our favorite quote: “We will ultimately not be judged by our technology … We won’t be judged by our intellect and reason. Ultimately, you judge the character of a society, not by how they treat their rich, the powerful, the privileged, but by how they treat the poor, the condemned, the incarcerated.”

2. Ron Finely on guerilla gardening in South Central Los Angeles

Our favorite quote: “Growing your own food is like printing your own money.”

3. Natalie Warne on being young and making an impact

Our favorite quote: “Whatever you want, chase after it with everything you have. Not because of the fame or the fortune, but solely because that’s what you believe in, because that’s what makes your heart sing, that’s what your dance is. That’s what is going to define our generation.”

4. Derek Sivers on how to start a movement

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Our favorite quote: “If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow and show others to follow. And when you see a lone nut doing something great have the courage to stand up and join in.”

5. Caroline Casey on looking past limits

Our favorite quote: “Stop with the labels … because we are not jam jars; we are extraordinary, different, wonderful people.”

Is there TED talk you’ve found inspiring that you don’t see here? Share it with us and other Green Monsters with a comment below!

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Image source: WBUR