"As a child I always had a sense of social conditions and political situations. I think it had to do with the fact that my mother was always discussing things with my sister and me - also because I read a lot."
"A lot of kids spent more time out of school than in, but I always loved school and thought it was my way out of Cleveland, and out of poverty."
"There are good reasons for being in jail - for protesting."
"There are some concerns that are universal. Everyone wants to be loved, and everyone wants to feel like they belong somewhere in the world. Everyone wants to do something and feel like they have a sense of purpose. These are just the things that I think about and the things that make their way into my songwriting."
"Stand up for yourself and fight for your right to be the artist that you want to be. There's plenty of pressure from outside; people tell you how to dress and how to sing or what to sing, but I always felt like if I'm going to fail or succeed, I want to do it on my own terms."
"There have been some gains made in terms of more equality for women in the workplace and in the way the legal system deals with issues of violence against women."
"So much has happened to obscure the dialogue about race and about gender and discrimination in general, especially where those things touch on economics."
"We do need to think about how we have security - everyone has a right to that - but we also need to think about how we maintain civil rights and personal freedom."
"What does the future look like if the heads of society ask our young people to risk their lives for questionable causes? I think it looks rather bleak."
"We have more media than ever and more technology in our lives. It's supposed to help us communicate, but it has the opposite effect of isolating us."
"Maybe it's naïve to say, but it almost seems like, in the past, people tried to sell you something you would actually need, like a hammer or a broom or a toothbrush. But now there's this notion that they can sell you anything. And all they have to do is convince you that you need it."
"I'm still thinking and hoping there's an opportunity for people to have better lives and that significant change can occur."