Diversity Statement Samples

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
eastcoaster18
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby eastcoaster18 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:43 pm

Anyone interested in doing a read of my Diversity statement? It would be greatly appreciated :)

r6_philly
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby r6_philly » Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:41 pm

eastcoaster18 wrote:Anyone interested in doing a read of my Diversity statement? It would be greatly appreciated :)


u can pm to me if u want

kanji4488
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby kanji4488 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:20 pm

Also looking for feedback on mine, i feel the structure could use some work. Anyone willing to PM?

I will of course read yours too :)

r6_philly
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby r6_philly » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:53 am

kanji4488 wrote:Also looking for feedback on mine, i feel the structure could use some work. Anyone willing to PM?

I will of course read yours too :)


PM if you like

Benvenuto10
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby Benvenuto10 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:54 pm

Generally speaking, the length of a diversity statement should be_________????????????????

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Langfall
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby Langfall » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:07 am

Benvenuto10 wrote:Generally speaking, the length of a diversity statement should be_________????????????????


I think generally 1 page, max 2.

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Sangiovese
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby Sangiovese » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:58 pm

I guess I will throw mine into the pile as an example of a diversity statement for an old white guy :) Hopefully it will help someone.

Mine is longer than most examples here. The question prompt gave me 4 pages to work with so I decided to use it all.

Describe any personal accomplishments, experiences, or aspects of your background, including family educational background, socioeconomic history, personal hardship experiences, and ethnic background, that you believe will contribute a diverse perspective to the X School of Law educational environment. Explain how your accomplishments, experiences, or background have affected your viewpoint and how your perspective will enhance the learning atmosphere at X School of Law. Specifically, what perspective will you bring to the academic community, including the classroom, that you believe might otherwise be missing or underrepresented?
(Approximately 1-4 double spaced pages)



“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
– Helen Keller


While I am fortunate to have not faced the magnitude of adversity Ms. Keller overcame in her life, my experiences have proven the truth of her words. Three major experiences have shaped who I am today: growing up poor, completing the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power Program, and experiencing the death of my son. These life experiences have shaped my perception of the world and continue to guide me as I experience new challenges.

Growing up Poor
When recounting a childhood of limited means, people often mention words along the lines of, “I didn’t know we were poor.” My story is different. I was acutely aware that I came from a poor family. I knew that my schoolmates didn’t have popcorn for dinner as mine did on occasion (because it was inexpensive and filling). I knew that other kids’ Christmas presents didn’t come from the Salvation Army. I knew that not everyone’s parents were alcoholics. I knew my family was different, but it didn’t bother me. After all, there were people who were much worse off than we were. I was never homeless. I did not suffer the horrifying abuse that some do. And I almost always had something to eat, even if it was just a bowl of Jiffy Pop.

The lack of possessions never bothered me because the library always had books to read and it didn’t cost anything to play in the yard using makeshift toys. I didn’t mind getting teased about being a “free lunch kid” because most children were teased about one thing or another. The one thing that bothered me was the lack of expectations. Everyone seemed to assume that because I came from a poor family I was destined to struggle in school and never make anything out of my life. The stigma of low expectations followed me from my earliest days in the classroom until I graduated from high school. It was evident in the surprise and amazement displayed every time I took a standardized test and scored well above grade level. It was evident in the way that teachers never protested when I was lazy and didn’t turn in an assignment. It was evident by the fact that not a single person talked to me about going to college after high school.

Growing up poor wasn’t the biggest challenge of my youth. Growing up without any expectations was a far bigger obstacle to overcome. Nobody set a bar and challenged me to leap over it. I don’t know how high I could have jumped had I been challenged to push myself. Yet I still consider myself lucky. I learned to set my own expectations. I learned to motivate myself. I overcame the apathy of others and succeeded in my life’s pursuits. Most importantly, I learned not to judge a person by their circumstances, but by their reaction to those circumstances.

Completing the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power Program
After passing all the screening tests, completing basic training, and graduating from Electrician’s Mate “A” School, the U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School was the next step to becoming a nuclear power plant operator. I had always done well in school and expected that trend would continue. Although the school had a 40% wash-out rate, I was confident that I would easily be in the 60% of graduates. I was wrong.

Nuclear Power School was the most rigorous academic and intellectual challenge of my life. Every day consisted of seven hours of lecture on topics like reactor physics, thermodynamics, advanced electrical theory, and mathematics. It was the proverbial “drinking from a fire hose” scenario and we were expected to soak up anything we missed before the process repeated again the next day. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was in over my head. Determined to succeed, I stayed in the building until well after midnight every day only to show up before dawn the next. The material was classified, as it uses examples from actual naval power plants, so all studying and homework had to be done in our classroom. I studied for at least eight hours a day on the weekends. Two months passed and, despite focusing all my effort on school, I was barely passing.

It was at this point that I started taking Lieutenant H’s class: Health Physics. Like all the other classes, the material came at breakneck speed and I struggled to keep up. I approached Lt. H after class to ask a question. He mentioned that I was one of his “2.5 to stay alive” students, meaning that he knew I was struggling in the program. And then he asked a question that literally changed everything. He asked if there was anything he could do to help me succeed in his class. We spoke at length about how I had always done well in school and on tests, but in Nuclear Power School I had been behind from the beginning. Like a doctor announcing his diagnosis, he proclaimed, “You’ve never been challenged before and you don’t know how to study.”

Lieutenant H spent an hour a week with me for the remainder of my time in his class. We never discussed content; he simply helped me to structure my study program and organize my tasks. I learned to take better notes and to highlight important concepts while reviewing them. He taught me the value of taking breaks during long study sessions to keep myself fresh and alert. It took a few weeks of practice before I got the new routine down, but the results were impressive. My grades immediately started improving. More importantly, I no longer felt lost and overwhelmed.

Nuclear Power School lasts six months and is divided into two halves. The second half is commonly referred to as “the dark side” due to the increased difficulty of the classes and a general downward trend in grades. I might have been the only student in my class to enjoy “the dark side.” With my new study skills, I was able to improve my grades while cutting back the time I spent in the building. I graduated from Nuclear Power School and excelled in the Nuclear Prototype training that followed, eventually being certified as a nuclear power plant operator and supervisor.

I learned many things in the Naval Nuclear Power Program, but the most important one was how to study when faced with academic challenges that cannot be met with ability alone. These study skills have served me well beyond Nuclear Power School. I use them frequently in my work as I learn how complicated communications and global positioning products operate so I can write training courses for operators and technicians. I employed them to learn about the telecommunications industry and underlying technology when I entered the field. I used them to graduate from X University with a 4.0 grade point average. And I will use them to be successful at X School of Law.

The Death of My Son
It is a sacrifice that warriors have made for centuries. We travel to distant lands in service to our country and are greeted upon our return by sons and daughters we have never met. Knowing this, I felt lucky to have even been present when my son, John Doe, was born on November 3rd, 1990. Five days later, I left for a three-month deployment to the North Atlantic. A deployment over the holiday season is always hard, but leaving my newborn son behind was especially difficult. My shipmates tried to cheer me up by pointing out that the first three months of parenthood are filled with a lot of sleepless nights and crying.

The separation of a deployment is particularly acute for submariners. We cannot receive mail or telephone calls on a submarine, so contact with loved ones is limited to receiving three “familygrams” of 16 words each during the deployment. The need to remain hidden prevents submarines from transmitting messages, so communication is one-way. Essentially, submarines and their crews simply disappear for months at a time. Fortunately, the demands of operating a submarine in sensitive areas of the world occupy the crew’s minds and the time passes quickly.

On February 4th we docked in Brest, France. The next morning I was called into the Executive Officer’s stateroom, where he told me that my son had died on February 3rd from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. I don’t remember exactly what he said. What words do you use to tell a man that his son has died? In fact, I don’t remember much about the next two days as I tried to get home from France. My journey began with a train ride to Paris on the TGV. At the station, a pair of French sailors picked me up and drove me to the U.S. Embassy a where I was given an airline ticket for the first flight home the next morning. I remember the Embassy driver dropping me off at a hotel and then picking me up the next morning after the longest and loneliest night of my life. The next clear memory I have was the burial. Everything between is a blur.

I spent four days with my son before I left to go to sea. Although he died 19 years ago, I often think of how limited the time we share with someone can be. My son’s brief life still impacts me every day: it shapes the way I interact with people. I pay attention. I form relationships rather than just going through the motions. I take an interest in what is going on in people’s lives. I have a very painful reminder that you never know how much time you will have to share with a person. I treasure every moment.

The diversity of our experiences shapes our character and colors our interactions with others. My life has been filled with experiences that have molded me into who I am now. Indeed, my soul has been strengthened and my vision cleared as a result of the trials I have had to overcome. I look forward to sharing my experiences and creating new ones with my classmates at X School of Law.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Thu May 13, 2010 1:35 pm

deleted
Last edited by NonTradHealthLaw on Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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trialjunky
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby trialjunky » Thu May 13, 2010 2:22 pm

NonTradHealthLaw wrote:Please flame away. I am on the fence whether to write DS or a Why XXX? statement. Any input would be much appreciated!

--------

I waited to come out to my family until I was twenty-four. After hearing my grandfather mumble [strike]such[/strike]statements as “…just don’t bring home no damned Jap girls…” when bidding me farewell to college, I was in no hurry to tell him that an attraction for a particular ethnicity would be the least of his disapprovals. I chose, instead, to wait until I was mature enough to understand what being gay meant for me (to me?). I then invited my family to share my life, rather than asking for permission or for their blessings. My grandfather’s acceptance surprised me. Once my mother reminded him of the two bulls who preferred mating with each other on his farm, he realized that homosexuality was natural – odd, but natural. [strike]He now looks forward to discussing internal combustion engines and diesel mechanics with my partner, a car-geek from XXXX[/strike]. ( I just dont care about your partner when I'm trying to find out about you)

Waiting until ready is also reflected in my decision for law school. (odd phrasing. I would reformat that sentence, it reads a little off/ ) I will be a ripe thirty-two years old when I begin my studies. My added maturity has given me time to reflect on what law school means, to understand the dedication necessary to succeed, and to have real-life experience to create a balance of idealism and realism. After earning my Master’s Degree, I expected wide open doors on my path towards greatness. Fortunately, those doors hit me in the face a few times and I have learned to actively listen rather than deafly speak.

[strike]So, yes, it seems odd that a white, Protestant, middle-class male from the soybean fields of XXXX could add diversity to a place, but in my case, I do.[/strike] (No, it doesn't. These are adcomms. They read DS all the time. This wouldn't seem odd to them. You don't need to validate that you are, in fact, a URM - you've done that already. Perspective, reality, and work ethic are three gifts given to me in the last few years. These are the areas where I truly am diverse. Although I am a proud gay man and I will never lie about my age [strike](whether directly by changing the number or indirectly through hair dye or Propecia)[/strike] (what if an adcomm does these things. You're insinuating that they're lying about themselves because of it.) I do not expect these check boxes to open any doors for me. My Pearl Harbor-decorated, slur-using grandfather would be more disappointed by entitlement than homosexuality, and I love and admire him for it.


Take my critique with a grain of salt. That's simply my opinion and you take what you want from it. :D

xqhp82
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby xqhp82 » Thu May 13, 2010 2:52 pm

Is it kind of a given that foreign applicants should write a diversity statement? I consider myself having a diverse background, but that's just due to my family moving to different cities, not because I'm having any particular economic/social hardship. i'm one of the lucky bunch who don't have any unfortunate experience. if i have to write a diversity statement then i'd really have to try hard to polish myself, but from a different angle i guess....i'm not even sure if law schools would really consider my 'diversity' as special. any suggestion on which perspective i should take if I

-was born in an asian country, but lived in 3 others cities in asia, now studying in europe, hold 3 passports
-studied in international schools
-parent divorced when i was a newborn

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HazelEyes
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby HazelEyes » Thu May 13, 2010 3:00 pm

trialjunky wrote:
NonTradHealthLaw wrote:Please flame away. I am on the fence whether to write DS or a Why XXX? statement. Any input would be much appreciated!

--------

I waited to come out to my family until I was twenty-four. After hearing my grandfather mumble [strike]such[/strike]statements as “…just don’t bring home no damned Jap girls…” when bidding me farewell to college, I was in no hurry to tell him that an attraction for a particular ethnicity would be the least of his disapprovals. I chose, instead, to wait until I was mature enough to understand what being gay meant for me (to me?). I then invited my family to share my life, rather than asking for permission or for their blessings. My grandfather’s acceptance surprised me. Once my mother reminded him of the two bulls who preferred mating with each other on his farm, he realized that homosexuality was natural – odd, but natural. [strike]He now looks forward to discussing internal combustion engines and diesel mechanics with my partner, a car-geek from XXXX[/strike]. ( I just dont care about your partner when I'm trying to find out about you)

Waiting until ready is also reflected in my decision for law school. (odd phrasing. I would reformat that sentence, it reads a little off/ ) I will be a ripe thirty-two years old when I begin my studies. My added maturity has given me time to reflect on what law school means, to understand the dedication necessary to succeed, and to have real-life experience to create a balance of idealism and realism. After earning my Master’s Degree, I expected wide open doors on my path towards greatness. Fortunately, those doors hit me in the face a few times and I have learned to actively listen rather than deafly speak.

[strike]So, yes, it seems odd that a white, Protestant, middle-class male from the soybean fields of XXXX could add diversity to a place, but in my case, I do.[/strike] (No, it doesn't. These are adcomms. They read DS all the time. This wouldn't seem odd to them. You don't need to validate that you are, in fact, a URM - you've done that already. Perspective, reality, and work ethic are three gifts given to me in the last few years. These are the areas where I truly am diverse. Although I am a proud gay man and I will never lie about my age [strike](whether directly by changing the number or indirectly through hair dye or Propecia)[/strike] (what if an adcomm does these things. You're insinuating that they're lying about themselves because of it.) I do not expect these check boxes to open any doors for me. My Pearl Harbor-decorated, slur-using grandfather would be more disappointed by entitlement than homosexuality, and I love and admire him for it.


Take my critique with a grain of salt. That's simply my opinion and you take what you want from it. :D


The line about your grandfather seems odd. I get what you're trying to say, but it's coming off as stilted and slightly strange. He's a racist, but luckily he's ok with homosexuality because it's natural. People can argue that it's natural to be racist too. I think your point can be better told without throwing in the bit about Japs. I'm just sayin'... :)

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trialjunky
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby trialjunky » Thu May 13, 2010 3:12 pm

xqhp82 wrote:Is it kind of a given that foreign applicants should write a diversity statement? I consider myself having a diverse background, but that's just due to my family moving to different cities, not because I'm having any particular economic/social hardship. i'm one of the lucky bunch who don't have any unfortunate experience. if i have to write a diversity statement then i'd really have to try hard to polish myself, but from a different angle i guess....i'm not even sure if law schools would really consider my 'diversity' as special. any suggestion on which perspective i should take if I

-was born in an asian country, but lived in 3 others cities in asia, now studying in europe, hold 3 passports
-studied in international schools
-parent divorced when i was a newborn


Bolded could be combined and be a pretty kick-ass DS.

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trialjunky
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby trialjunky » Thu May 13, 2010 3:14 pm

HazelEyes wrote:The line about your grandfather seems odd. I get what you're trying to say, but it's coming off as stilted and slightly strange. He's a racist, but luckily he's ok with homosexuality because it's natural. People can argue that it's natural to be racist too. I think your point can be better told without throwing in the bit about Japs. I'm just sayin'... :)



Lol. Now, that I read that part again it jumps out to me as well. I think in gay DSs, unless your family had an unfavorable reaction or you're really going to center your DS around coming out then you shouldn't even bother mentioning them.

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HazelEyes
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby HazelEyes » Thu May 13, 2010 3:27 pm

HazelEyes wrote:
trialjunky wrote:
NonTradHealthLaw wrote:Please flame away. I am on the fence whether to write DS or a Why XXX? statement. Any input would be much appreciated!

--------

I waited to come out to my family until I was twenty-four. After hearing my grandfather mumble [strike]such[/strike]statements as “…just don’t bring home no damned Jap girls…” when bidding me farewell to college, I was in no hurry to tell him that an attraction for a particular ethnicity would be the least of his disapprovals. I chose, instead, to wait until I was mature enough to understand what being gay meant for me (to me?). I then invited my family to share my life, rather than asking for permission or for their blessings. My grandfather’s acceptance surprised me. Once my mother reminded him of the two bulls who preferred mating with each other on his farm, he realized that homosexuality was natural – odd, but natural. [strike]He now looks forward to discussing internal combustion engines and diesel mechanics with my partner, a car-geek from XXXX[/strike]. ( I just dont care about your partner when I'm trying to find out about you)

Waiting until ready is also reflected in my decision for law school. (odd phrasing. I would reformat that sentence, it reads a little off/ ) I will be a ripe thirty-two years old when I begin my studies. My added maturity has given me time to reflect on what law school means, to understand the dedication necessary to succeed, and to have real-life experience to create a balance of idealism and realism. After earning my Master’s Degree, I expected wide open doors on my path towards greatness. Fortunately, those doors hit me in the face a few times and I have learned to actively listen rather than deafly speak.

[strike]So, yes, it seems odd that a white, Protestant, middle-class male from the soybean fields of XXXX could add diversity to a place, but in my case, I do.[/strike] (No, it doesn't. These are adcomms. They read DS all the time. This wouldn't seem odd to them. You don't need to validate that you are, in fact, a URM - you've done that already. Perspective, reality, and work ethic are three gifts given to me in the last few years. These are the areas where I truly am diverse. Although I am a proud gay man and I will never lie about my age [strike](whether directly by changing the number or indirectly through hair dye or Propecia)[/strike] (what if an adcomm does these things. You're insinuating that they're lying about themselves because of it.) I do not expect these check boxes to open any doors for me. My Pearl Harbor-decorated, slur-using grandfather would be more disappointed by entitlement than homosexuality, and I love and admire him for it.


Take my critique with a grain of salt. That's simply my opinion and you take what you want from it. :D


The line about your grandfather seems odd. I get what you're trying to say, but it's coming off as stilted and slightly strange. He's a racist, but luckily he's ok with homosexuality because it's natural. People can argue that it's natural to be racist too. I think your point can be better told without throwing in the bit about Japs. I'm just sayin'... :)


Also, i'm a big Healh Law'er too! Damn UMD for rejecting me. :(

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Thu May 13, 2010 3:33 pm

HazelEyes wrote:
HazelEyes wrote:The line about your grandfather seems odd. I get what you're trying to say, but it's coming off as stilted and slightly strange. He's a racist, but luckily he's ok with homosexuality because it's natural. People can argue that it's natural to be racist too. I think your point can be better told without throwing in the bit about Japs. I'm just sayin'... :)


Also, i'm a big Healh Law'er too! Damn UMD for rejecting me. :(


Hmm...interesting food for thought. You're definitely giving me pause. I don't want to disparage him or myself by proxy but I don't have a very exciting or interesting coming out story otherwise, and NO WAY am I going to accept that 30<X<35 is old!

Sorry to hear about your rejection from UMD. They'll be on my short list.

madcherrylimas
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby madcherrylimas » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:49 pm

Here's my DS. I'm Taiwanese American and I'm going to go to Duke.

During my travels, I have often felt like my name was an excellent passport. When I first
arrived in Israel, I felt terribly out of place in a country where there were soldiers with rifles
everywhere and children on the street would sing, “Shalom sinit! Hey, hello Chinese!” I was the
first Asian many people had ever met and they looked at me like I was too exotic to talk to until I
said my name is Sonya. They would exclaim, “Ma? With a name like that, you could be a Russian
Jewish girl!” Variations of this scene were played across Finland, Spain, and India. It broke the ice
and eventually I was Sonush or Sonchik, master at playing sheshbesh, connoisseur of fine hummus,
and capable of throwing out slang phrases “like an Israeli.”

Growing up in a diverse Los Angeles suburb, I knew that to speak a language was to
participate in a culture. Before I decided to obtain a degree in linguistics, I supported myself and
contentedly lived a Spartan lifestyle, surrounded by foreign languages and some of the most
interesting people I know. My exchange scholarship to Finland opened my mind to a new world,
one with saunas and customs like “Everyman’s Right,” which entitled strangers to camp out in your
yard. I studied French in college with the aim of living in France and absorbing another foreign
culture. Living abroad was like reading an insightful, life-changing book that I could not put down.

The last six years of my life have been a time of 15-hour bus rides elbow to elbow with
humanity, of being hit with culture shock and asking, “Why does this shock me?” I once stayed
with a family in Kathmandu, four people in a room and me sleeping in the kitchen. During my first
meal there, I was asked, “Do you need a spoon?” I had always recoiled at the thought of eating with
my hand, but right then I remembered in China they give white people spoons instead of chopsticks.
I said, “Of course not.” It felt awkward then, but now, I feel it is the best way to eat lentils and rice.

“Female Asian American” does not do my identity full justice. I am like my passport, filled
with extra pages, reflective of the places I have been to and always ready to cross the next border.

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ArchRoark
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby ArchRoark » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:54 pm

I just finished a VERY rough draft of my diversity statement... but atm it is too long (3pages double spaced -- ~800 words)... From the consensus of this thread I see I need to whittle it down to one-two pages. I think I am trying to tell too much (two separate stories that I tie into a common theme). After I do some self editing would anyone be willing to take a look at it and give me there honest advice? A brutal critique is welcomed.
Last edited by ArchRoark on Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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lisjjen
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby lisjjen » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:08 am

I was 16 before I knew that black people wrote fiction. I walked into a used bookstore in a backwater town in Idaho and struck up a conversation with the owner and his brother. I announced that I was going to be the first black novelist. Silently, the owner led me through the stacks and pulled out Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Feeling a little sheepish, I corrected my statement by saying that I was going to be the first black science fiction novelist. The owner lifted his John Deere hat a little and slowly scratched his head. “Samuel Delany has six Hugo and Nebula awards doesn’t he?” He asked his brother.

“Yeah,” replied the brother, “and I think he just got inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.”

With stories like these, it only makes sense that I should be called an Oreo, and a “white” all through high school. Of course I can take a joke, but if I’m not black, than why have I had complete strangers spit at me and call me n****r on more than one occasion?

Growing up in Idaho, it was difficult to understand what it meant to be black. By osmosis, I absorbed many of the beliefs of my peers. Up until college, I believed that racism was dead. I didn’t go so far as agreeing with some of my acquaintances that blacks were the only ones who perpetuated prejudice or even that the US might be better if they were sent back to Africa. At the same time, I didn’t refute their ignorance as vocally as I should. I kept my silence until I came to a more sophisticated understanding of race. Much of who we are as a person is based on how people see us. When two women come to a stop next to me at a traffic light and one of them leans out to spit on me, they don’t realize that I read mythology or play chess. They merely see the color of my skin and in that moment, no matter how much Mozart I listen to, I am not an Oreo. I am black. I am co-opted into a community rather I want to be or not.

Over the last four years, I have learned to embrace this. In my sophomore year of college I founded and then presided over the first black Student Alliance at my college. I became enthralled with reading black history and works by the Harlem Renaissance. In every history class in which I have an option to choose my own topic, I focus on black or African history and have recently been accepted to my deparment’s honor program and will be writing my senior thesis on a Black panther. My journey is not over and I hope to contribute to the conversation of celebrating our differences and understanding our similarities as humans at (XYZ School).

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lisjjen
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby lisjjen » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:09 am

I am still in the application process. Does anyone have time to critique the above DS?

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trialjunky
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby trialjunky » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:52 am

lisjjen wrote:I was 16 before I knew that black people wrote fiction. I walked into a used bookstore in a backwater town in Idaho and struck up a conversation with the owner and his brother. I announced that I was going to be the first black novelist.If this is one of your goals in life, how come you didnt research it? If you looked online, you would have this information. If you didnt have internet access, I would state it Silently, the owner led me through the stacks and pulled out Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Feeling a little sheepish, I corrected my statement by saying that I was going to be the first black science fiction novelist. The owner lifted his John Deere hat a little and slowly scratched his head. “Samuel Delany has six Hugo and Nebula awards doesn’t he?” He asked his brother.

“Yeah,” replied the brother, “and I think he just got inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.”

I don't think this story is strong enough to be included in your DS. It's doesnt seem like a big moment for you. It seems like just a time when you walked into a store and asked a few questions and got shot down. If it iwas a real moment in your life that changed you or the way you look at things I would play it up much more. With stories like these, it only makes sense that I should be called an Oreo, and a “white” all through high school.The jump from going to a bookstore to it making sense that you would be called an oreo doesnt make much sense. One doesnt equal the other Of course I can take a joke, but if I’m not black, than why have I had complete strangers spit at me and call me n****r on more than one occasion?This is your DS so it doesnt need to be very formal but that language (not even the n word) is just too casual. You arent talking to your friend, you're writing to adcomms.

Growing up in Idaho, it was difficult to understand what it meant to be black. By osmosis, I absorbed many of the beliefs of my peers. Up until college, I believed that racism was dead.I didn’t go so far as agreeing with some of my acquaintances that blacks were the only ones who perpetuated prejudice or even that the US might be better if they were sent back to Africa. At the same time, I didn’t refute their ignorance as vocally as I should. I kept my silence until I came to a more sophisticated understanding of race. These are contradictory thoughts, how could you believe racism was dead when you acknowledge your friends make racist comments that you didn't address?Much of who we are as a person is based on how people see us. When two women come to a stop next to me at a traffic light and one of them leans out to spit on me, they don’t realize that I read mythology or play chess. The fact that you read mythology or play chess has nothing to do with the fact that these women shoudnt be spitting on you at a stop. They shouldn't be spitting on you because you are a human being and the color of your skin isn't permission to treat you as something lessThey merely see the color of my skin and in that moment, no matter how much Mozart I listen to, I am not an Oreo. I am black. I am co-opted into a community rather I want to be or not. <--this sentence needs to be completely reworked. It doesnt make sense

Over the last four years, I have learned to embrace this. In my sophomore year of college I founded and then presided over the first black Student Alliance at my college. I became enthralled with reading black history and works by the Harlem Renaissance. In every history class in which I have an option to choose my own topic, I focus on black or African history and have recently been accepted to my deparment’s honor program and will be writing my senior thesis on a Black panther. My journey is not over and I hope to contribute to the conversation of celebrating our differences and understanding our similarities as humans at (XYZ School).


This needs a lot of work.

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lisjjen
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby lisjjen » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:01 pm

trialjunky wrote: This needs a lot of work.


Thank you for your input. I used the story at the beginning to illustrate how disconnected with my race I really used to be, and then the line about being spit at and called a n****r is to convey just how backwards my part of the country is. Srsly, they still had cross burnings in my town until I was a teenager. Any recommendations on how to speak to these points better would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you again.

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lawrencecis
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby lawrencecis » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:40 pm

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Last edited by lawrencecis on Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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trialjunky
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby trialjunky » Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:18 pm

lisjjen wrote:
trialjunky wrote: This needs a lot of work.


Thank you for your input. I used the story at the beginning to illustrate how disconnected with my race I really used to be, and then the line about being spit at and called a n****r is to convey just how backwards my part of the country is. Srsly, they still had cross burnings in my town until I was a teenager. Any recommendations on how to speak to these points better would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you again.


I would really check for contradictions in your rework because you had a lot of them in your last draft. The story at the beginning isn't very poignant, it would be better just to say that you were very disconnected with your race due to your upbringing and the lack of fellow minorities present in your community. I would make it much more formal. One thought for each paragraph. I wont critique on grammer because it's not my forte (unless it's glaringly bad) but I'm good on content. Re-work and re-load. I'll critique again.

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:16 pm

Here are my thoughts on your DS --

First, the opening anecdote doesn't connect at all to what you maintain in the 2nd paragraph. You say, "with stories like these, it's easy to see why I was called an Oreo," when, quite frankly, that story does not make it easy to see. The bookstore situation conveys the idea that you didn't have a clue about the writing genres you so adamantly wanted to be a part of. That's not intelligent, and if being called an "oreo" is the denotation given to blacks who demonstrate intelligence, then your comparison makes no sense.

I see no value in the first paragraph at all. Take it out. That's the first step. Replace is it with a scene from your past (if you're stuck on that idea) that DIRECTLY shows the whole Oreo concept. Maybe it's hearing remarks as you walked into your AP Honors Chemistry Class. Perhaps it's listening to Kenny G (god, I don't know) on your CD Player, only to be stalked and taunted. Then, go into your second paragraph...

With stories like these, it only makes sense that I should be called an Oreo, and a “white” all through high school. Of course I can take a joke, but if I’m not black, than why have I had complete strangers spit at me and call me n****r on more than one occasion? There is no legitimate reason for you to include that second paragraph or that godawful word in this essay. Period.

Growing up in Idaho, it was difficult to understand what it meant to be black. By osmosis, this should be "through" osmosis not "by" I absorbed many of the beliefs of my peers. Up until college, I believed that racism was dead. I didn’t go so far as agreeing with some of my acquaintances that blacks were the only ones who perpetuated prejudice or even that the US might be better if they were sent back to Africa. At the same time, I didn’t refute their ignorance as vocally as I should. I kept my silence until I came to a more sophisticated understanding of race. Ok, tell us about this more sophisticated understanding.Much of who we are as a person is based on how people see us.So perception is reality? Or the looking-glass self? Which concept are you alluding to? Either way, this sentence needs to go. When two women come to a stop next to me at a traffic light and one of them leans out to spit on me, they don’t realize that I read mythology or play chess. What trialjunkie said applies here. Also you need to give some background information about your town, if you're going to so flippantly tell this horrible story as if you were describing a can of peas. What sort of place do you live where women in 21st just up and spit on a black person? Tell the reader about it. It has the potential to make for a captivating description. Also, it's confusing that you write "when two women..spit on me" because it makes it seem like A) you're offering a hypothetical or B) it happens all the time. Which one is it? You should say.."I remember when.."They merely see the color of my skin and in that moment, no matter how much Mozart I listen to, I am not an Oreo. I am black. I am co-opted into a community rather I want to be or not.

Over the last four years, I have learned to embrace this.Embrace what? Embrace prejudice? In my sophomore year of college I founded and then presided over the first black Student Alliance at my college. I became enthralled with reading black history and works by the Harlem Renaissance. In every history class in which I have an option to choose my own topic, I focus on black or African history and have recently been accepted to my deparment’s honor program and will be writing my senior thesis on a Black panther.Capital P. My journey is not over and I hope to contribute to the conversation of celebrating our differences and understanding our similarities as humans at (XYZ School).[/quote]



Okay, you go from a self-questioning social outcast, to a champion of the Black race in one sentence. If your journey from impotence to action, or from ignorance to enlightenment is the focal point of your essay, then you need to be more explicit in describing this journey. What was the turning point for you? Why did you begin to appreciate your culture? It's a diversity statement, so you have to really show how you can add to this "conversation" you speak of.

If I were you, I would sit, think about your identity, think about your race, think about how it's affected you --honestly. All this other stuff you have (the spitting incident especially) is really surface-level; it's as if there's some real depth to what you are saying but you're removed from it. It happened to you, but you just don't want to get into it. Get into it. That's what will make this DS worthwhile.

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lisjjen
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby lisjjen » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:19 pm

ShuckingNotJiving wrote:Here are my thoughts on your DS --

First, the opening anecdote doesn't connect at all to what you maintain in the 2nd paragraph. You say, "with stories like these, it's easy to see why I was called an Oreo," when, quite frankly, that story does not make it easy to see. The bookstore situation conveys the idea that you didn't have a clue about the writing genres you so adamantly wanted to be a part of. That's not intelligent, and if being called an "oreo" is the denotation given to blacks who demonstrate intelligence, then your comparison makes no sense.

I see no value in the first paragraph at all. Take it out. That's the first step. Replace is it with a scene from your past (if you're stuck on that idea) that DIRECTLY shows the whole Oreo concept. Maybe it's hearing remarks as you walked into your AP Honors Chemistry Class. Perhaps it's listening to Kenny G (god, I don't know) on your CD Player, only to be stalked and taunted. Then, go into your second paragraph...

With stories like these, it only makes sense that I should be called an Oreo, and a “white” all through high school. Of course I can take a joke, but if I’m not black, than why have I had complete strangers spit at me and call me n****r on more than one occasion? There is no legitimate reason for you to include that second paragraph or that godawful word in this essay. Period.

Growing up in Idaho, it was difficult to understand what it meant to be black. By osmosis, this should be "through" osmosis not "by" I absorbed many of the beliefs of my peers. Up until college, I believed that racism was dead. I didn’t go so far as agreeing with some of my acquaintances that blacks were the only ones who perpetuated prejudice or even that the US might be better if they were sent back to Africa. At the same time, I didn’t refute their ignorance as vocally as I should. I kept my silence until I came to a more sophisticated understanding of race. Ok, tell us about this more sophisticated understanding.Much of who we are as a person is based on how people see us.So perception is reality? Or the looking-glass self? Which concept are you alluding to? Either way, this sentence needs to go. When two women come to a stop next to me at a traffic light and one of them leans out to spit on me, they don’t realize that I read mythology or play chess. What trialjunkie said applies here. Also you need to give some background information about your town, if you're going to so flippantly tell this horrible story as if you were describing a can of peas. What sort of place do you live where women in 21st just up and spit on a black person? Tell the reader about it. It has the potential to make for a captivating description. Also, it's confusing that you write "when two women..spit on me" because it makes it seem like A) you're offering a hypothetical or B) it happens all the time. Which one is it? You should say.."I remember when.."They merely see the color of my skin and in that moment, no matter how much Mozart I listen to, I am not an Oreo. I am black. I am co-opted into a community rather I want to be or not.

Over the last four years, I have learned to embrace this.Embrace what? Embrace prejudice? In my sophomore year of college I founded and then presided over the first black Student Alliance at my college. I became enthralled with reading black history and works by the Harlem Renaissance. In every history class in which I have an option to choose my own topic, I focus on black or African history and have recently been accepted to my deparment’s honor program and will be writing my senior thesis on a Black panther.Capital P. My journey is not over and I hope to contribute to the conversation of celebrating our differences and understanding our similarities as humans at (XYZ School).



Okay, you go from a self-questioning social outcast, to a champion of the Black race in one sentence. If your journey from impotence to action, or from ignorance to enlightenment is the focal point of your essay, then you need to be more explicit in describing this journey. What was the turning point for you? Why did you begin to appreciate your culture? It's a diversity statement, so you have to really show how you can add to this "conversation" you speak of.

If I were you, I would sit, think about your identity, think about your race, think about how it's affected you --honestly. All this other stuff you have (the spitting incident especially) is really surface-level; it's as if there's some real depth to what you are saying but you're removed from it. It happened to you, but you just don't want to get into it. Get into it. That's what will make this DS worthwhile.[/quote]

Excellent. Thank you. I have a couple more questions. A few years before the instance with the stop light, I went to an African American Leadership summit in DC that changed my life. I was going to use it in my PS. Would it be redundant to use it here too? Also, the stop light incident did force me to stop and think about how I would react and why. It sort of crystallized my view of race relations. Would it still be a good anecdote to keep if I talked about that?




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