Fatimetou Malick, mayor of Tevragh-Zeina, talks about opening doors for women in politics in Mauritania. She believes an equal society exists when everyone’s skills are valued and everyone can contribute to development.

This piece is part of #InequalityIs, a conversation about inequality in all its forms.

Other videos in this series

Zitto Kabwe.

Zitto Kabwe on inequality and taxes

Tanzanian member of parliament Zitto Kabwe says 30 percent of the world’s wealth is held in tax havens. To tackle inequality, we must address the issue of tax havens. An international tax convention that creates the same set of rules for everyone to follow would curtail them.

Edgar Altamirano sitting in front of a camera, and gesturing on the monitor.

Edgar Mora Altamirano on inequality and public policy

Inequality means not having a say in how public policy is created, says Edgar Mora Altamirano, the mayor of Curridabat, Costa Rica. He says using technology to empower communities can increase civic engagement and break down barriers to understanding public policy.

Lydiah Bosire sits in front of cameras.

Lydiah Kemunto Bosire on inequality and higher education

Inequality is seen in the low numbers of African students attending tertiary education institutes both at home and abroad. 8B Education Investment Fund’s Lydiah Kemunto Bosire says it’s important to invest in world-class higher education for African students. This will enable Africans themselves to steer the continent to prosperity.

Screenshot of Carlos Moscoso Perea.

Carlos Moscoso Perea on inequality and access to basic services

Inequality is not having access to basic public services. Carlos Moscoso Perea, mayor of Cusco, Peru, explains how despite his city being a UNESCO World Heritage site, only 40 percent of people in his town have access to potable water. People need to be given the minimum they need to survive.

Screenshot of Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza on inequality and protecting workers

The National Domestic Workers Alliance’s Alicia Garza believes inequality is a political consequence. NDWA has fought to change state labor laws to include domestic workers. They’re building an intersectional movement and fighting to make sure that women’s work is seen as work.

Jeff Chang sitting on a film set in front of multiple cameras with his face displayed on all monitors.

Jeff Chang on race, culture, and inequality

Author Jeff Chang believes in the power of cultural equity in the fight against inequality. Cultural equity is access to the tools that get your story out into the world and also being able to have that story heard. Seeing each other in our full humanity creates a just society.

Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga sitting on a film set in front of multiple cameras with his face displayed on all monitors.

Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga on inequality and violence

Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga, the former mayor of Medellín, Colombia, knows the violence that inequality causes and that it’s a driver of social instability. But he’s witnessed what happens when this inequality is addressed through education and jobs, and how it can decrease the levels of violence.

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey on a film set in front of cameras with her face on multiple monitors.

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey on health inequality

Disrupting health inequality is essential to equity for all. A person’s zip code should not determine the length or quality of their life, explains Risa Lavizzo-Mourey of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It should also not limit the housing, education, or access to healthcare services one receives.

Teddy Crus sitting on a film set in front of multiple cameras with his face displayed on all monitors.

Teddy Cruz on inequality and public spaces

Disrupting inequality is a responsibility that falls to all of us. Architect Teddy Cruz says better design of public institutions and places, especially in marginalized communities, is a way to fight for equality. Public spaces can be redefined by civic engagement, shared responsibility, and learning.

Laura Callanan sits in front of multiple cameras with her face showing on the monitor.

Laura Callanan on inequality and art

Art is a powerful force for making change in the world. Laura Callanan, founding partner of Upstart Co-Lab, says artists are addressing social inequalities in their work. But with impact investing, they can better solve the complex problems that the world is facing.

Screenshot of Edward Norton.

Edward Norton on inequality and ecology

Edward Norton, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity, says neglect of our natural world and the lack of value placed on the environment is inextricably linked to all kinds of inequality. lifting people out of poverty aligns directly with promoting environmental sustainability, he says.

Screenshot of Carmen Vazquez

Carmen Vazquez on inequality and LGBT rights

LGBT people face discrimination that doesn’t just end with legal rights that may be granted. Activist Carmen Vazquez says there are many different kinds of inequality that LGBT people experience and there is still much work to be done in changing mindsets and perceptions. Equality is not justice.

Alicia Garza sitting behind a someone using a film marker.

Finish this sentence: Inequality Is… Long Promo

In the #InequalityIs series, a wide range of people on video—from CEOs to musicians, activists, and fast-food workers—define what inequality means to them, covering the many challenges that need to be overcome in the fight for equality, justice, and dignity for all.

A black and white photo of Black men with signs that read "I AM A MAN" marching in front of armed military personnel

Gara LaMarche on inequality and privilege

Gara LaMarche, president of Democracy Alliance, acknowledges his privilege as a white man. He sees the importance in reducing bigotry and inequality to liberate the talent and energies of all Americans. In order to address the challenges our society faces, we need to have everyone’s talents available and celebrated.

Participants in the Bard Prison Initiative sit at desks in a classroom.

Max Kenner on inequality, incarceration, and education

The prison system and incarceration rates exacerbate inequality. Max Kenner from the Bard Prison Initiative says education is an equalizer, as it provides those that have been incarcerated with a foundation for future success. Investing in individuals is key to fighting inequality.

Screenshot of Tiffany Yu.

Tiffany Yu on inequality and disability

Dismantling inequality is rooted in inclusion. Diversability’s Tiffany Yu explains how exclusion is more disabling to a person than an actual disability. She believes employers should hire people with disabilities because of their strengths, not just to meet a quota.

Portrait of Bryan Stevenson.

Bryan Stevenson on mass incarceration and criminalization

Inequality in the prison system has a devastating impact. The Equal Justice Initiative’s Bryan Stevenson says an abuse of power and racism exploits people of color and the poor, creating an inequality that becomes part of the culture and the political system. He says fighting inequality requires doing uncomfortable things.

Rashad Robinson sitting on a film set in front of multiple cameras with his face displayed on all monitors.

Rashad Robinson on inequality and a fair chance to work

Inequality impacts whose voices are heard and whose remain silent. Color of Change’s Rashad Robinson says disrupting inequality means giving people who haven’t been heard the chance to have their say. He explains that this includes giving those who are formerly incarcerated a fair chance to work.

Ana Canengez

Ana Canengez on inequality and immigration

Immigrants experience inequality that results in great suffering caused by family separations. Ana Cañengez, a motel housekeeper, fights for dignity and justice for all immigrants. She explains that she moved to the U.S. to give her children a better future, and wants to see immigrants like her valued.

Radhika Shah

Radhika Shah on inequality and internet access

The internet is the backbone to accessing information. Radhika Shah from Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs says access to information is essential for dismantling inequality. She believes social entrepreneurs and technology companies play an important role in bridging the global technological divide.

Usher sitting on a film set in front of multiple cameras with his face displayed on all monitors.

Usher on facing inequality through art

Inequality needs to be faced head on, and art can help us do that. Musician Usher says art can help us acknowledge and talk about complicated issues, such as the lack of racial justice in addressing problems like racial profiling and police brutality. Racial justice is necessary to address inequality.

Linda Sarsour walking outside.

Linda Sarsour on inequality and race and religion

Activist Linda Sarsour discusses the issues American Muslims face and how equality is a place where every person can be proud of and celebrated for the complexities of their background. Disrupting inequality requires eradicating stereotypes and embracing identities.

Amy Brown sits in front a camera with her face showing on the monitor.

Amy Brown on inequality in government policies

Inequality is growing. The Ford Foundation’s Amy Brown says this is driven by government policy, which grants access to education and other opportunities to some, but not all. Closing this gap requires making government work for everyone, and giving people who are most impacted the power to change their communities.

Portrait of Favianna Rodriguez.

Favianna Rodriguez on cultural inequality

CultureStrike’s Favianna Rodriguez says cultural inequality is not often considered, but it’s just as important to address as other forms of inequality. Because art builds empathy, she believes we need to present a multi-dimensional view of who we are through the stories told in the content we create.

Michael Clemens sitting on a film set in front of multiple cameras with his face displayed on all monitors.

Michael Clemens on inequality and migration

Michael Clemens, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, says that effective migration policy must consider the long-term benefits of welcoming refugees, along with the upfront costs. He believes today’s migration crisis is being compounded by a lack of vision.

Screenshot of Luis Gajardo

Luis Mella Gajardo on inequality and inclusion

Luis Mella Gajardo, mayor of Quillota, Chile, talks about the limited relationship between income and happiness, and why inclusion is key to fighting inequality. Inequality is not being seen and social inclusion can help address that. He believes focusing on happiness should be an objective for changing society.

Hari Kondabolu sitting on a film set in front of multiple cameras with his face displayed on all monitors.

Hari Kondabolu on laughing at inequality

As a comedian, Hari Kondabolu can joke about things people don’t are uncomfortable with, like injustice and inequality. He believes we can end inequality by people acknowledging their privileges, speaking up for what is unjust, and being prepared to lose something in the process.

Sue Desmond-Hellman sitting on a film set in front of cameras.

Sue Desmond-Hellmann on inequality and health

Inequality of access to a working healthcare system has repercussions for the whole world. Sue Desmond-Hellman,Gates Foundation CEO, wants to see a future where the benefits of science, technology, and innovation are available to everyone. She believes health can be a driver towards equality.

Screenshot of Don Chen

Don Chen on inequality and urbanization

By 2050, about 70 percent of the world’s people will live in cities. The Ford Foundation’s Don Chen says as our world urbanizes, we’ll see extreme degrees of inequality. He believes societies function better when everyone is contributing, andhere are opportunities for cities to address inequality head-on.

Richard Branson sitting on a film set lit with a bright white light.

Richard Branson on how business can fight inequality

Social justice is good for business. Philanthropist Richard Branson believes businesses that do good become better brands. The more businesses can be run with a purpose, the better it is for the whole world— including the business.

Screenshot of Jilly Stephens.

Jilly Stephens on inequality and food insecurity

Food is a basic necessity. City Harvest CEO Jilly Stephens says inequality is the gap between the cost of living and the wages earned. Around 50 million Americans are considered food insecure and struggle to put food on the table. Stephens believes a collaborative approach can help end food insecurity.

May Boeve sitting on a film set in front of multiple cameras with her face displayed on all monitors.

May Boeve on inequality and climate change

Climate change is about inequality. May Boeve, executive director of 350.org, explains that the people who did the least amount to cause the problem are most affected by it. Addressing climate change has the potential to address issues of inequality and bring people out of poverty.

Portrait of Joseph Stiglitz.

Joseph Stiglitz on inequality and economic growth

The U.S. has the highest level of inequality among higher-income countries. Economist Joseph Stiglitz believes this inequality has been chosen, and that the great divide between rich and poor has been created by U.S. economic policies that have limited economic mobility.

Screenshot of Reeta Roy.

Reeta Roy on creating economic opportunity for women

Higher levels of equality lead to higher levels of economic growth. The MasterCard Foundation’s Reeta Roy explains how her mother fought for her education while she was growing up and how important it is for women to have economic access in order to fight inequality.

Portrait of Willie Baptist.

Willie Baptist on inequality and poverty

Gender inequality, racial inequality, and economic inequality need to be solved by a social movement that is rooted in intersectionality. Educator Willie Baptist’s understanding of poverty is informed by his own experience of being homeless on the streets of Philadelphia. He believes ending inequality is truly possible.

Portrait of Martin Whittaker

Martin Whittaker on inequality and capitalism

Martin Whittaker, CEO of JUST Capital, believes capitalism is inherently about justice and we need to get back to that idea. He challenges us to use business as a force for good and create a set of business values that reflect the broader values of the population.

A crowd of people with medium and dark skintones marching and smiling.

Ai-jen Poo on building movements to challenge inequality

Everyday people are transforming inequality. The National Domestic Workers Alliance’s Ai-jen Poo has seen what happens when people come together and decide to build a movement. She wants to transform the inequality that exists for caregivers, who are often immigrants, live in poverty, and are denied labor protections.

Gloria Steinem sitting on a film set in front of a camera with a bright light shining on her.

Finish this sentence: Inequality Is… Short promo

In the #InequalityIs series, a wide range of people on video—from CEOs to musicians, activists, and fast-food workers—define what inequality means to them, covering the many challenges that need to be overcome in the fight for equality, justice, and dignity for all.

Portrait of Rajiv Joshi.

Rajiv Joshi on how inequality hurts business

Inequality means there are 3.5 billion people who are not actively operating in the economy. The B Team’s Rajiv Joshi says by sharing value more fairly, we can enable millions of people to realize their full potential and build a thriving economy that works for the good of all.

Portrait of Paul Polman.

Paul Polman on addressing inequality and the need for shared prosperity

Inequality is the biggest obstacle in creating a sustainable and equitable future, says Unilever CEO Paul Polman. He gives examples of how this inequality plays out, from women working in agriculture only earning 10 percent of the income to only 5 percent of people in China being able to go to university.

Martha Redbone sitting on a film set in front of a camera with a bright light shining on her.

Martha Redbone on using music to challenge inequality

Music can share messages. As a Black and Native American woman, singer-songwriter Martha Redbone’s experience of inequality has been lifelong. She sees music as an essential way for people to tell their stories and uses her voice to educate people.

Portrait of Jose Antonio Vargas.

Jose Antonio Vargas on immigrant rights and working together to tackle inequality

Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American, says inequality and injustice are connected. He believes you don’t have to be an immigrant to advocate for immigrant rights, and each person’s equality is tied to the next. He wants us to confront the inequalities that run across all of the world’s issues.

Fred Swaniker sitting on a film set in front of multiple cameras with his face displayed on all monitors.

Fred Swaniker on inequality, opportunity, and jobs for African youth

People with ideas changing the world need to be given a chance. Inequality hurts talented young people across Africa, says Fred Swaniker of the African Leadership Academy. He believes in giving young Africans the opportunity to work and develop as leaders, so they can transform their communities and the world.

Elton John sitting on a film set in front of multiple cameras with his face displayed on all monitors.

Elton John on inequality, LGBT discrimination, and HIV/AIDS

Singer Elton John says inequality is caused by stigma and discrimination against LGBT people. helped create the HIV/AIDS crisis, due to a lack of access to life-saving medication. He believes inequality is the greatest problem we face today and needs to be addressed through inclusiveness.

Portrait of Hank Willis Thomas.

Hank Willis Thomas on the role of artists in fighting inequality

Artists can highlight the things in society we’d rather ignore. Artist Hank Willis Thomas uses his work to force a shift in perspective and how we think about inequality, across economic, cultural, and political lines. He believes ordinary people can make the huge strides we need to survive.

Portrait of Gowri Ishwaran.

Gowri Ishwaran on inequality and girls’ education

Gowri Ishwaran, Global Education and Leadership Foundation CEO, says she experienced gender discrimination as a young girl in India and points to education as a solution. Class-based discrimination and gender discrimination work together to keep women unequal. Schools need to be inclusive to address this issue.

Portrait of Gloria Steinem.

Gloria Steinem on inequality and reproductive rights

Any inequality or suffering is wrong. Feminist writer Gloria Steinem shares her story about why reproductive rights are so important to her and to women around the world. Access to abortion and reproductive rights are essential to the fight for gender equality.