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 Post subject: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:37 pm 
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It would be greatly appreciated by myself and TLS site readers if anyone would be kind enough to contribute their diversity statement sample. Thanks in advance for giving back to the TLS community.

Cheers,

Ken


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:32 pm 
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So I decided to start off this thread with my own diversity statement, and hopefully others will join the trend. I've already been accepted to some great schools, and all the others I'm waiting on know who I am on here, so what's there to lose (hopefully nothing lol). Definitely not a long statement, but it gets to the point.

Disclaimer: This isn't the best diversity statement, but I like it so that's all the matters :D


Quote:
“OREO!!! OREO!!!!” These were the racial slurs I faced as a child. My hometown community is comprised primarily of Caucasians. I was one of three half black kids in my school. My mother always tried to warn me that although I was half black and half white, I would face racial discrimination as a result of my racial make-up. I never really believed her. All of my friends were white, and I never experienced anything of the sort.

At the age of nine, my mother and I moved from our small town to a predominately black neighborhood. As a social, energetic girl I did not expect to face problems when it came to making friends. Unfortunately, I was sadly mistaken and the other children did not welcome me with open arms. Instead they teased me, and called me crude names. To them I was not like every other black girl, like my mother had assured me. I was different. I was not “one of them” and they made sure I knew that. All I could think about was how much I missed my small town where I felt that everyone loved me for who I was. My mom and I moved back to Half Moon Bay a year later, but the memory has always stayed with me.

Many people probably see this as very minor experience with racial discrimination, but to a nine-year old girl it was much more than that. They saw me as a white girl from a white neighborhood. What pains me is to see similar discrimination occurring today at my university. I see a majority of the African American women look at me and talk about me, as if I am not one of them. I have learned that to some people I may always be an African American, while to others I am Caucasian, and I cannot change anyone’s opinion. What I do know is who I am, and who I am proud to be. I am proud to be bi-racial, and I see no need to classify myself as one race or the other because I am proudly both. Through the years those dearest to my heart have never forced me into a position of choosing to be black or white. Those closest to me view me as an intelligent, sympathetic, and respectful individual. And as I continue to grow as an individual I realize that those who wish for me to choose will never know the real me.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:45 pm 
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Diversity Statement

Quote:

In the dead of winter, I stood shivering with a rusted shovel in one hand and my equally old
racquet in the other. The newly-fallen snow reached the middle of my shins, yet my desire to practice tennis
far surpassed Mother Nature in strength. I labored, finally revealing the fading shapes of the synthetic grass
court, and despite the nipping cold, I focused and sharpened my skills for hours.
Of course, these were not ideal conditions under which to perfect serves and master forehands, but as a
teenager from a very humble socioeconomic background who hoped to become a member of the high school
team, indoor courts were not readily available in my neighborhood. Throughout life, however, I have learned
to disregard such limitations.

Born to an eighteen-year old, single mother, I was figured to become another data point in studies
lamenting the demise of the American, black male. The events surrounding me validated these predictions:
two of my uncles were convicted of murder, my closest cousin became a drug dealer, and teenage pregnancy
ran rampant in my generation. Fortunately, I avoided a similar fate and set my sights on college, a foreign
destination in my family. As I attempted to defy predictions, my financial troubles led me to fear I would
prove no one wrong; I struggled to sustain myself, relying on the same desire present that winter day to
persevere. I worked full-time when necessary, and though my course readings were often overshadowed by
the literature of past due utility bills and eviction notices, I overcame my financial constraints and became the
only college graduate in my family besides my distant father. This is not a distinction I hope to retain. I reach
out to my younger relatives, mentoring and propelling them to loftier goals than their environment suggests.

Like them, I have encountered many troubles. I resent none. My circumstances have afforded me a
trust of my determination as a reliable compass for navigating obstacles. Whether I headed in one direction,
circumventing financial hardships, or steered in another, avoiding familial baggage, I always believed the path
could lead to success. That December day remains a prominent example of my journey. After many winter
practice sessions and no formal lessons, I conquered professionally-trained opponents to attain the number one
singles position on the varsity tennis team that following spring. Similar to my pursuit of a college education,
I never allowed my socioeconomic status to subdue my dream. I considered it a challenge, one that provided
me a greater appreciation for my accomplishments.


Last edited by tl on Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:02 pm 
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Posts: 2014
I like your writing, tl.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:24 pm 
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Location: L.A.
.


Last edited by Mattalones on Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:59 pm 
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Wow, good job guys. When my cycle is (closer to) over I will post my DS as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:23 pm 
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Nice work guys, I'll post mine later in my cycle.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:49 pm 
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We already have some excellent statements on here, but TLS helped me a lot when I was forumulating my writing so I'd like to post mine as well.


For a few years when I was in elementary school my mother worked in home health, visiting the poor or elderly who lived too far from the hospital to make the trip themselves. Often the job called for evening visits and if the women’s shelter we frequented could not provide a babysitter, Mom would pack my younger sister and me in the car to accompany her into the foothills and hollers around our eastern Kentucky town.

Most of the time my mother would meet with the patient while my sister and I waited in the car, but on occasion we would be invited inside as well. It was an invitation I initially loathed. Although my family had very little these people had even less, and their poverty seemed only to remind me of my own low status and limited prospects. I wanted to imagine that people living in such a way must be somehow different, that their fate could never be mine. I found, however, I could rarely predict the kind of people who would be waiting inside.

Some were families with one parent, just like my own. Others were dealing with the familiar pains of the welfare office, a consequence of a coal and steel industry forever on the verge of “coming back”. Mostly, though, the people we met were dealing with the challenges of a limited life as best they could. My own poverty left me angry and ashamed, so I was surprised by the gratitude Mom’s patients showed for the small blessing, like her care, they did have. Even the family whose home was adorned with confederate flags insisted we share their dinner, an early lesson in race relations for a ten-year-old boy with a coffee and cream complexion.

As I have grown older life has taken me far from the Appalachian foothills but I have held close the memories of my upbringing, memories I once tried hard to forget. My experiences instilled in me the resolve to face challenges and an appreciation of the opportunities I have been given. I know that attending [XYZ Law School] is an opportunity most people from my background will never have. I am determined to make the most of that chance.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:09 am 
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I really like all of these. So when I wrote my DS I was sooo happy with it, but reading everyone elses it feels so inferior to me. Thankfully I'm done with applying or else I might have just gotten rid of it, but I guess some schools liked it so I hope you guys do to!


I cannot pinpoint the exact day as to when I realized that I was different, but at a certain point, I could never understand why I have always been treated so. Growing up, I have had society tell me many different things that I did not even know about myself. I have had the media dictate to society what they ought to expect from me because my skin complexion matches that of other people. Today, I have found comfort in my skin, no matter what people think of me, but the truth is that to understand who I truly am, I have to come clear on exactly what I am not...

I am not Black. It was not until I got a little bit older that people would start comparing me to other Blacks that I differentiated myself. I was not just Black. My skin might have been darker, but I was not the type of person you can fit into a category. What I truly am is: Canadian, Jamaican, Indian, Scottish and Jewish (the ethnicity, not the religion). What people do not know when they look at me is that I am a quarter White and the majority Indian, it just so happens that my skin color matches that of other African Americans. Although, I have found that I have no choice, but to mark the box that says so, I am not Black.

I am not a part of a simple family. Not only am I different than the majority of society, I am completely unique within my own family as well. Both of my parents and three of my brothers were born in Jamaica and all of them had previously grown up in a neighborhood that had a dominant Jamaican culture. My parents both had children in previous marriages and upon marrying, they had me. My father’s three sons are Jamaican, Indian, and Jewish and my mother’s two are Jamaican, Chinese, and Scottish. It was hard growing up in a family that was so different than myself.

I am not supported by my family in everything that I do. I grew up with the mainstream Canadian culture and at times this was very different than the many cultures found in my own house. While everyone in my family was listening to Reggae, I started listening to country music. My parents could not grasp the fact that I would listen to alternative music such as Our Lady Peace and Nirvana. Not only would my brothers find it amusing to fool with me for the sheer fact that I was a girl, but because of mere music selections, I had set myself apart and would pay the price. Not a day would go by that I would not be ridiculed for the fact that the majority of my friends were White, I listened to “White people” music, and had no idea how to be Black. Their favorite thing to call me was “White-washed.” I found out at a very early age that being “Black” had a lot more to do with than my skin color.

I am not a spoiled little girl. Both of my parents had respectable employment, but due to unfortunate circumstances, they became unable to work. My mother, working at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation as a court clerk, worked in a time before headsets and spent a lot of time with the telephone resting on her shoulder while typing. This caused arthritis from her neck right down through her fingers. My father was just as unfortunate. He used to deliver for UPS, but one day, while on the job, he fell down a staircase and now has incurable back problems and arthritis in his right shoulder. Both of my parents, due to their injuries are now on permanent disability and can no longer work. This created so many problems for my family. No longer could my father even pick me up, my mother had to learn to write with her left hand, and they both battled depression. My parents would trade sitting at home to go back to work in a second and it is their work ethic I wish to emulate. At a very early age, I had to realize that my parents could not financially support me. I have had to work hard to get to where I am today, and because of my parents, I know that I cannot take anything for granted.

I am not held back by stereotypes. Just as I do not classify myself as being “Black”, I do not believe that I have to live up to the stereotypes of that title. As a child, my parents gave me the freedom to try many things and entertain many dreams and for this I am grateful because I have become a very well rounded person. Unfortunately, many people would not use the term “well rounded”, but instead it changes into being “White”. For some reason, a Black person is acting White when they are able to ice skate and swim, do not watch Black Entertainment Television, but instead listen to country music. Those who get to know me at Niagara University say the same things, they call me an “Oreo” because I am supposedly Black on the outside and White on the inside. If I were to listen and internalize all of the stereotypes I have heard throughout the years, I would never have become the woman I am today. I have come to realize that by labeling certain things as either "Black" or "White" is putting a limitation on what I am capable of doing. No action should be unacceptable because of my race, because no matter what I look like on the outside, in the end I am still a human being.

Who I am is not easily explained, but over the years I have found myself knowing exactly who I am not. I am comfortable in my own skin, I have found a way to survive life without a great deal of money and I reject the stereotypes that could potentially hold me back. I no longer care if someone thinks that I am “acting White” and they refer to me as an Oreo, instead I have no problem in joining and letting them know that I am no ordinary Oreo, I am double stuffed.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:21 am 
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These are great diversity statements, thank you everyone for these and I would love to have a few more contributed. TLS is already a better place with this forum and I appreciate all of those who kindly provided their statement to help future applicants.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:33 am 
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Firstly, your PS is awesome.

Secondly:
Quote:
My parents could not grasp the fact that I would listen to alternative music such as Our Lady Peace and Nirvana. Not only would my brothers find it amusing to fool with me for the sheer fact that I was a girl, but because of mere music selections, I had set myself apart and would pay the price. Not a day would go by that I would not be ridiculed for the fact that the majority of my friends were White, I listened to “White people” music, and had no idea how to be Black. Their favorite thing to call me was “White-washed.” I found out at a very early age that being “Black” had a lot more to do with than my skin color.


This is an absurdly common experience. I'm "white" because I like the Beatles! For chrissakes, who doesn't like the Beatles?!??!

Thirdly, I can relate to everything you say in your DS but it hurts me that it even needs to be said. Of course, you can be whoever you want to be. And so can I. Shouldn't we all have that right?


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:37 am 
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prettypithy wrote:
Firstly, your PS is awesome.

Secondly:
Quote:
My parents could not grasp the fact that I would listen to alternative music such as Our Lady Peace and Nirvana. Not only would my brothers find it amusing to fool with me for the sheer fact that I was a girl, but because of mere music selections, I had set myself apart and would pay the price. Not a day would go by that I would not be ridiculed for the fact that the majority of my friends were White, I listened to “White people” music, and had no idea how to be Black. Their favorite thing to call me was “White-washed.” I found out at a very early age that being “Black” had a lot more to do with than my skin color.


This is an absurdly common experience. I'm "white" because I like the Beatles! For chrissakes, who doesn't like the Beatles?!??!

Thirdly, I can relate to everything you say in your DS but it hurts me that it even needs to be said. Of course, you can be whoever you want to be. And so can I. Shouldn't we all have that right?




It is so comforting to see that other black people go through this same mess! I completely understand and identify with this DS, I'll probably post mine at the end of my cycle.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:01 am 
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“Where in Jamaica are you from?” “I am from St. Mary.” My answer often produces a curious knit of the brow of the Jamaican asker followed by the statement, “Oh you’re from the countryside.” I grew up in Long Road, a small rural farming community in the eastern parish of St. Mary. My hometown had a population of approximately five hundred. Everyone knew each other by name, and there was nothing you could do in secret. In Long Road, we had two schools and five churches. Faith played an important role in my upbringing, and attending church services three or more times a week was the norm. Growing up in the countryside afforded me the freedom to engage with nature: running through the fields, lying in our grassy backyard, and reaping crops during times of Harvest. I look back, and I have fond memories of my childhood.
Although Jamaica’s rural areas are often associated with poverty, I don’t remember feeling poor. We didn’t have computers, cell phones, or the latest electronic gadgets, but I had no desire for those things either. However, I always had a desire to see beyond the hilly horizon of my island home. I had heard many stories about “foreign” (America, Canada, and England), so I was ecstatic when my parents told me I was moving to the United States.
Emigrating to the United States and to the large metropolitan city of New York was a culture shock and an adjustment in many ways. The only people I knew, with the exception of my father and my sister, were the people living in my new home. Relatives I met for the first time. My cousins excitedly introduced us to our neighborhood, but I was disappointed that it was so cold. I yearned to play outdoors again. Nevertheless, school made up for what I deemed was lacking in the weather. I was used to people who looked like me, and who spoke the same language I did. In my new school, I first came in contact with the melting pot that is America, and I was fascinated. I felt as if someone had given me the key to the door of another world; a world I was anxious to explore.
For the first time I would also start to discover my racial self. Before, I would describe myself as brown, the actual color of my skin. I came from the homogenous culture of Jamaica, where the majority of the population looked like me, and so I didn’t think of myself in terms of race. I would learn that black not only represented skin color. It also represented a race, a history, and a culture. This realization would add another interesting layer to my identity and self-definition. American, Caribbean-American, African-American are three descriptions that I’ve learned to weave together to develop my sense of self.
Approximately a year after living in the United States and on my thirteenth birthday, my father woke me up to tell me that he was leaving. I knew there were financial tensions between him and our relatives, but I wasn’t expecting his sudden announcement. He explained that he had to leave the current living situation to secure a life for himself in the United States. I didn’t ask at the time, but I wondered and still wonder why he didn’t take us with him.
By the time I was a senior in high school, we saw and heard from my father sporadically. Though he helped us financially at times, he remained physically and emotionally distant. I wasn’t sure I knew who he was anymore. My sister and I learned during those years to become immensely independent. We had neither parents in our physical presence, and my relatives provided the basic necessities and only that. During that difficult period, we were able to pull encouragement from the faith that was such an integral part of our early childhood upbringing. We also drew strength and support from my mother who at that time resided in Jamaica. She encouraged us to focus on our education, which she believed would provide us with the tools to secure a better life.
I knew I wanted to obtain a college degree, a feat neither of my parents had the opportunity to accomplish. Therefore, I was hurt and disappointed when my aunt angrily told me not to have any letters from colleges mailed to the house. “You’re not going to college,” she yelled. “Who’s going to pay for it?” My aunt forced me to face a possibility that I did not want to accept. College was the only option that I considered. I had the will, and I decided that there had to be a way.
In college, I was largely surrounded by people who came from privileged backgrounds. Interestingly, although I didn’t experience the same opportunities they did, I never felt disadvantaged. I’ve used the relationships I’ve built with my classmates to learn about various viewpoints, cultures, and lifestyles, which in turn broadened and developed my own life perspectives. Due to the variety and depth of my experiences, I believe I will add an interesting and unique perspective to the intellectual environment at ___________ University School of Law.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:56 pm 
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ALeader wrote:
prettypithy wrote:
Firstly, your PS is awesome.

Secondly:
Quote:
My parents could not grasp the fact that I would listen to alternative music such as Our Lady Peace and Nirvana. Not only would my brothers find it amusing to fool with me for the sheer fact that I was a girl, but because of mere music selections, I had set myself apart and would pay the price. Not a day would go by that I would not be ridiculed for the fact that the majority of my friends were White, I listened to “White people” music, and had no idea how to be Black. Their favorite thing to call me was “White-washed.” I found out at a very early age that being “Black” had a lot more to do with than my skin color.


This is an absurdly common experience. I'm "white" because I like the Beatles! For chrissakes, who doesn't like the Beatles?!??!

Thirdly, I can relate to everything you say in your DS but it hurts me that it even needs to be said. Of course, you can be whoever you want to be. And so can I. Shouldn't we all have that right?




It is so comforting to see that other black people go through this same mess! I completely understand and identify with this DS, I'll probably post mine at the end of my cycle.



Thanks guys! I was worried at first because, being black in Canada is SO different than being black in America (which is something I've noticed being at UG in NY, but I'm glad others had similar situations. I can't wait until your cycle is over so I can see each of yours!


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:01 pm 
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Miss_Zora wrote:
“Where in Jamaica are you from?” “I am from St. Mary.” My answer often produces a curious knit of the brow of the Jamaican asker followed by the statement, “Oh you’re from the countryside.” I grew up in Long Road, a small rural farming community in the eastern parish of St. Mary.


Miss Zora, both of y parents are from Long Wood and whenever people ask me where they're from they expect me to say Kingston or Ochi or somewhere common like that. They have no idea where Clarendon is! I've been a couple of times and love it. I just loved the ways you described not feeling poor. My parents were the same way. If you've already chosen a school, Congrats. If not, good luck!!


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:18 am 
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Great D. statements! I will certainly post mine when the cycle ends.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:04 pm 
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This was the DS I'd originally come up with. I didn't end up using it b/c I wanted to focus more on other things that made me diverse since my PS touched on some of the same things. But I figured I'd post it anyway b/c maybe someone might get something out of it.


The semiannual ritual of “packing the barrel” had become very familiar to me. For as long as I can remember, my family has sent food, clothing, and even little things like plastic scissors to the family that left behind in Guyana when we immigrated to America. To my mother, not too long removed from that desperate life, it was a purely labor of love. But for me, the love was tinged with wistfulness for the things that I would never have so that others could. “Your eye is big,” my mother would say. But such are the selfish ways of youth.

Ensconced in the middle of Brooklyn, far from ideal but better than the alternative, I knew how lucky I was. Born into poverty, my parents came to America to forge a better life. My mother, having been removed from school to take care of her eight younger siblings, emphasized the importance of education above all else. “Me only mek one pickney for a reason,” she would remind me. “I only made one child for a reason.”

Her demand for academic excellence instilled in me a passion for knowledge at a young age. Too poor to afford books of my own, I turned to the public library. I would go twice a week, sometimes more, each time borrowing the ten book maximum. My academic pursuits occasionally put me at odds with some of my black classmates. They called me an “oreo” black on the outside and white on the inside. My clear, concise, slang-free speech was an affront to their view African-American people. In their eyes I was a traitor. In mine, I was adhering to the norms my parents taught me.

Growing up with one foot firmly planted in the African-American experience and the other immersed in my Guyanese heritage, I was eventually able to reconcile the seemingly disparate cultures. Being Guyanese kept the poverty of my youth in perspective and gave me the drive to pursue my education. As a black American I learned the value of diversity, having experienced first-hand the misconceptions that are liable to form in a homogeneous environment. Each afforded me a unique perspective, spawning the self-confidence that has enabled me to succeed in the face of adversity.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:48 pm 
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Ataraxia wrote:
This was the DS I'd originally come up with. I didn't end up using it b/c I wanted to focus more on other things that made me diverse since my PS touched on some of the same things. But I figured I'd post it anyway b/c maybe someone might get something out of it.


The semiannual ritual of “packing the barrel” had become very familiar to me. For as long as I can remember, my family has sent food, clothing, and even little things like plastic scissors to the family that left behind in Guyana when we immigrated to America. To my mother, not too long removed from that desperate life, it was a purely labor of love. But for me, the love was tinged with wistfulness for the things that I would never have so that others could. “Your eye is big,” my mother would say. But such are the selfish ways of youth.

Ensconced in the middle of Brooklyn, far from ideal but better than the alternative, I knew how lucky I was. Born into poverty, my parents came to America to forge a better life. My mother, having been removed from school to take care of her eight younger siblings, emphasized the importance of education above all else. “Me only mek one pickney for a reason,” she would remind me. “I only made one child for a reason.”

Her demand for academic excellence instilled in me a passion for knowledge at a young age. Too poor to afford books of my own, I turned to the public library. I would go twice a week, sometimes more, each time borrowing the ten book maximum. My academic pursuits occasionally put me at odds with some of my black classmates. They called me an “oreo” black on the outside and white on the inside. My clear, concise, slang-free speech was an affront to their view African-American people. In their eyes I was a traitor. In mine, I was adhering to the norms my parents taught me.

Growing up with one foot firmly planted in the African-American experience and the other immersed in my Guyanese heritage, I was eventually able to reconcile the seemingly disparate cultures. Being Guyanese kept the poverty of my youth in perspective and gave me the drive to pursue my education. As a black American I learned the value of diversity, having experienced first-hand the misconceptions that are liable to form in a homogeneous environment. Each afforded me a unique perspective, spawning the self-confidence that has enabled me to succeed in the face of adversity.



The barrel packing ritual is so true, ahh the memories. Great essay.

Thanks for the feedback friaz :)


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:09 pm 
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..............................................................


Last edited by glsd56 on Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:59 pm 
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friaznatch13 wrote:
ALeader wrote:
prettypithy wrote:
Firstly, your PS is awesome.

Secondly:
Quote:
My parents could not grasp the fact that I would listen to alternative music such as Our Lady Peace and Nirvana. Not only would my brothers find it amusing to fool with me for the sheer fact that I was a girl, but because of mere music selections, I had set myself apart and would pay the price. Not a day would go by that I would not be ridiculed for the fact that the majority of my friends were White, I listened to “White people” music, and had no idea how to be Black. Their favorite thing to call me was “White-washed.” I found out at a very early age that being “Black” had a lot more to do with than my skin color.


This is an absurdly common experience. I'm "white" because I like the Beatles! For chrissakes, who doesn't like the Beatles?!??!

Thirdly, I can relate to everything you say in your DS but it hurts me that it even needs to be said. Of course, you can be whoever you want to be. And so can I. Shouldn't we all have that right?




It is so comforting to see that other black people go through this same mess! I completely understand and identify with this DS, I'll probably post mine at the end of my cycle.



Thanks guys! I was worried at first because, being black in Canada is SO different than being black in America (which is something I've noticed being at UG in NY, but I'm glad others had similar situations. I can't wait until your cycle is over so I can see each of yours!


I had very similar situations in middle school and high school. I'm glad there are others that share my experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:53 am 
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Posts: 1534
Great essays.

I can't believe how many people have had an 'Oreo' experience.

Can I ask a question to the biracial people? In the UK, looking at the people I know, the biracial experience is very different. Do you ever reconcile to 'black identity', or is it something that continuously flares up?


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:51 pm 
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Location: Bodymore, Murderland
Wow, I didn't realize how many other biracial kids were on here. Neat.

Here's my DS. To be honest, I don't love it, but there you have it. I also posted my PS in the PS samples thread, which dealt largely with my other diversity issue, if people are interested.

Quote:
While my parents did a wonderful job teaching me and my siblings about the totality of our heritage, they never stressed the fact that there was anything unusual about our family. Their focus was on providing us with the best possible education and opportunities, rather than examining issues of personal identity. However, they could not shield us entirely from social realities, and eventually I was to learn that being interracial presents a unique set of challenges and experiences. At first it was difficult to be confronted with our differences, but I have ultimately become appreciative of my background and the perspective it grants me.

My parents met at the University of Michigan. My father was a law student, the first of his family of Anglo-Irish Pennsylvania farmers to attend college. My mother was an African-American undergraduate student from Detroit, the daughter of a lawyer and a teacher. Despite the major differences in their backgrounds, they fell in love, and were married with the blessings of both families.

For most of my early childhood, we lived in a very diverse area, and my friends came from a wide variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. Being young, I did not realize that this environment was at all unusual. However, the week I turned 13 we moved to a semi-rural area that was less than 1% black. Around this time people started asking me what nationality I was, or even just what I was. Soon after disclosing my ethnicity, I had to convince my classmates that “Mutt” and “Zebra” were neither appropriate nor particularly funny nicknames for me, and that "n*g**r" [I wrote the full word in the essay, but it shows up as "BAN ME" here, for good reason] was unacceptable in any context.

This abrupt introduction to the more unpleasant aspects of race relations was quite upsetting. However, the upshot of my growing awareness of my own minority status was that it gave me a newfound appreciation for my family. My parents had met less than a decade after interracial marriage became universally legal in this country; most of the white side of my family had never known a black person before they met my mother. I finally understood the struggles that had been necessary in order for my siblings and I to even exist, let alone to enjoy the support and opportunities we had.

I also started to feel the absence of my maternal grandfather for the first time in my life. He was the last of my black male relatives, and he died when I was three. Among his many accomplishments, my grandfather overcame major obstacles to put himself through college in a time when most Americans did not pursue higher education. He then went on to law school, where he was one of two black students in his class; only one of them would be allowed to graduate. When I first started to confront racial issues, I began to wonder how my outlook might have been different had my grandfather lived, and whether I would have been better prepared for experiencing life as a minority.

Being interracial and ethnically ambiguous can make every day seem like an involuntary sociological experiment. I have been mistaken for a foreign national, from places as varied as Mexico, Greece, and Egypt. I have heard people talk disparagingly about both major aspects of my heritage, clearly assuming that no one of that particular background was present. I have been told that interests or hobbies of mine are inappropriate for a person of color, that they are somehow a credit to people of color, and even that they suggest I am not really a person of color at all.

While experiences such as the above have been uncomfortable, I know they pale in comparison to what my grandfather went through just to become a lawyer. Remarkably, he was not embittered by the difficulties he faced, or swayed from his ambitions. My grandfather instead focused on being the best person he could be, and dedicated his life to serving his community as both a lawyer and an educator. He was never afraid to state his opinion or offer his perspective, but he also cultivated the ability to communicate with people very different from himself, as shown by his close friendship with my paternal grandfather.

I have realized that although I cannot directly avail myself of my grandfather’s outlook or advice, I can at least follow his example. What he seems to have known, and what I am learning, is that the true test of character is not simply to withstand adverse circumstances; it is the ability to be changed for the better by such circumstances. This is not a glorification of hardship, but an acknowledgment that even the experience of adversity can be turned to beneficial purposes. My experiences grant me a fairly unique perspective on some contentious and emotional issues, which at times I have been able to share with others in a productive way. If nothing else, I have come to value them for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:18 pm
Posts: 1273
Location: L.A.
Ulfrekr wrote:
Wow, I didn't realize how many other biracial kids were on here. Neat.

Here's my DS. To be honest, I don't love it, but there you have it. I also posted my PS in the PS samples thread, which dealt largely with my other diversity issue, if people are interested.

Quote:
While my parents did a wonderful job teaching me and my siblings about the totality of our heritage, they never stressed the fact that there was anything unusual about our family. Their focus was on providing us with the best possible education and opportunities, rather than examining issues of personal identity. However, they could not shield us entirely from social realities, and eventually I was to learn that being interracial presents a unique set of challenges and experiences. At first it was difficult to be confronted with our differences, but I have ultimately become appreciative of my background and the perspective it grants me.

My parents met at the University of Michigan. My father was a law student, the first of his family of Anglo-Irish Pennsylvania farmers to attend college. My mother was an African-American undergraduate student from Detroit, the daughter of a lawyer and a teacher. Despite the major differences in their backgrounds, they fell in love, and were married with the blessings of both families.

For most of my early childhood, we lived in a very diverse area, and my friends came from a wide variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. Being young, I did not realize that this environment was at all unusual. However, the week I turned 13 we moved to a semi-rural area that was less than 1% black. Around this time people started asking me what nationality I was, or even just what I was. Soon after disclosing my ethnicity, I had to convince my classmates that “Mutt” and “Zebra” were neither appropriate nor particularly funny nicknames for me, and that "n*g**r" [I wrote the full word in the essay, but it shows up as "BAN ME" here, for good reason] was unacceptable in any context.

This abrupt introduction to the more unpleasant aspects of race relations was quite upsetting. However, the upshot of my growing awareness of my own minority status was that it gave me a newfound appreciation for my family. My parents had met less than a decade after interracial marriage became universally legal in this country; most of the white side of my family had never known a black person before they met my mother. I finally understood the struggles that had been necessary in order for my siblings and I to even exist, let alone to enjoy the support and opportunities we had.

I also started to feel the absence of my maternal grandfather for the first time in my life. He was the last of my black male relatives, and he died when I was three. Among his many accomplishments, my grandfather overcame major obstacles to put himself through college in a time when most Americans did not pursue higher education. He then went on to law school, where he was one of two black students in his class; only one of them would be allowed to graduate. When I first started to confront racial issues, I began to wonder how my outlook might have been different had my grandfather lived, and whether I would have been better prepared for experiencing life as a minority.

Being interracial and ethnically ambiguous can make every day seem like an involuntary sociological experiment. I have been mistaken for a foreign national, from places as varied as Mexico, Greece, and Egypt. I have heard people talk disparagingly about both major aspects of my heritage, clearly assuming that no one of that particular background was present. I have been told that interests or hobbies of mine are inappropriate for a person of color, that they are somehow a credit to people of color, and even that they suggest I am not really a person of color at all.

While experiences such as the above have been uncomfortable, I know they pale in comparison to what my grandfather went through just to become a lawyer. Remarkably, he was not embittered by the difficulties he faced, or swayed from his ambitions. My grandfather instead focused on being the best person he could be, and dedicated his life to serving his community as both a lawyer and an educator. He was never afraid to state his opinion or offer his perspective, but he also cultivated the ability to communicate with people very different from himself, as shown by his close friendship with my paternal grandfather.

I have realized that although I cannot directly avail myself of my grandfather’s outlook or advice, I can at least follow his example. What he seems to have known, and what I am learning, is that the true test of character is not simply to withstand adverse circumstances; it is the ability to be changed for the better by such circumstances. This is not a glorification of hardship, but an acknowledgment that even the experience of adversity can be turned to beneficial purposes. My experiences grant me a fairly unique perspective on some contentious and emotional issues, which at times I have been able to share with others in a productive way. If nothing else, I have come to value them for that.


I really liked that. The end was particularly well worded.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:17 pm 
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Posts: 126
Thanks everyone for posting. It's interesting to see how many had the "Oreo" experience too. I appreciate your willingness to share. I'm not applying until next cycle, so these are helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Diversity Statement Samples
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:08 pm
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Location: Houston
...


Last edited by lmondragon on Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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