Diversity Statement Samples

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

Postby AllisLaw » Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:45 pm

Ummm... these statements are interesting, but you guys do realize that "black" is not a culture, right? There are black people who have many drastically different cultures. They are all equally black. :(

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Ataraxia
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby Ataraxia » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:04 pm

AllisLaw wrote:Ummm... these statements are interesting, but you guys do realize that "black" is not a culture, right? There are black people who have many drastically different cultures. They are all equally black. :(


Really? You don't say! :roll:

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shelee56
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby shelee56 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:43 pm

ALeader wrote:
prettypithy wrote:Firstly, your PS is awesome.

Secondly:
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.



Although I'm not black, i'm latina, i had the exact same experience. I remember constantly being made fun of because of the music I liked and even 'the way i talked.' people didn't think i was raised in the mission (predominantly low-income immigrant neighborhood) just because i didn't speak like everyone else. i was constantly called 'white washed' and told 'you wouldnt know or understand' even though i grew up in the same neighborhood. it honestly made me feel horrible. how could they tell me i'm not 'latin enough' when i spoke perfect spanish and knew about my countries history. blah (bad memories) but yea... here's one of my drafts of my ds. (ha. is it bad i can't find the final draft? =X)

Diversity Statement
When my parents left Peru in the 1980s, they left behind all that they knew and all that they owned. They were escaping the rampant violence that the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) was inflicting on their country. My mother and her 12 brothers and sisters, were born in a tiny mountain town in Ayacucho, Peru, the same department where the Sendero Luminoso and other guerrilla movements began. My father and his family are of African and European heritage and were born in a fishing village in the Northern coast of Peru. My mother's first language was Quechua, the most widely spoken indigenous language in the Americas. Although I knew Quechua as a child, my first language was Spanish. It is all that I spoke until I went to school and all that I continue to speak with my family.
My mother came to this country with a five year old son and a pregnant belly. She left behind all that was familiar to her, including her husband, who would join her a couple of years later. Although my parents came with little material possessions they came with something of more value, their culture. My parents brought with them their language, their music, their food and their dance. Most importantly, my parents arrived with the knowledge of their history and a strong desire for their future success. They passed all of this down to their children.
When I was 8 years old, my family and I joined a folkloric dance group. This experience taught me about the rich diversity that there is in Peru, ethnically, culturally and geographically. I embraced this diversity and later learned that I too am a product of the mixture of many cultures and races. Learning the history of Peru made me conscious of the fact that my ethnic and racial background belongs to that of the historically oppressed. I learned that some of my ancestors were taken from their native country while others’ native country was taken from them. This insight is what drives me to work with those from similarly disadvantaged backgrounds. I was the first of both sides of my family to be born in this country, as well as the first to graduate high school, college and now apply to graduate school.
I was raised in a low-income household with a big extended family. My household always consisted of six or more family members. Although this meant I shared a room with more than one person until I went away to college, it also meant I was able to learn about my culture from not only my parents but my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. All of the adults in the household worked, but I was fortunate enough to have never been left unattended. I was taken care of by my siblings and older cousins. They gave me the support needed to excel in school and stay out of trouble. Unfortunately, they did not have this same type of support and many of my older role models did not graduate high school and none of them went to college.
The support present in a big extended family is also what kept our family financially stable. My parents and family have always been self-employed, at first out of necessity and later out of convenience. Having their own business meant my family could make their own schedule, but also meant they worked 10 hour days every day of the week. My parents have had different jobs throughout the years, from selling t-shirts at tourist spots to managing an Andean music group. They currently have their own cleaning business doing janitorial service for various offices around the city. In addition to the family business, my father also works the swing shift as a janitor for __________. Although I can see how tiring it is for my father to work two service jobs at age 55, he continues this lifestyle so that his family will have health insurance. Through my parent’s struggles and hard work, I learned how truly important it was for me, a daughter of immigrants and a woman of color, to receive a higher education.
My parents, whom came from humble origins and never had the opportunity for a higher education, would always tell me that the only thing people cannot take away from you is the knowledge you have acquired. My parents’ desire for a better future for their children is what ignited my passion for learning and for helping empower others.

AllisLaw
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby AllisLaw » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:53 pm

Ataraxia wrote:
AllisLaw wrote:Ummm... these statements are interesting, but you guys do realize that "black" is not a culture, right? There are black people who have many drastically different cultures. They are all equally black. :(


Really? You don't say! :roll:

I said that b/c I went through those SAME things and I still realize that I would be lying to myself if I said that I wasn't black. :roll: But to each there own. It seems like some people still have some issues to deal with...

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lishi
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby lishi » Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:21 pm

People are talking about how they can't just be put in the category "Black". Instead they are much more. They have different ethnicities and cultures, come from different countries, and many other qualities that set them apart.

If you can't understand where they are coming from then maybe you should get a reality check and deal with your own issues before judging others. :roll:

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Mattalones
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby Mattalones » Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:21 pm

shelee56 wrote:
Diversity Statement
When my parents left Peru in the 1980s, they left behind all that they knew and all that they owned. They were escaping the rampant violence that the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) was inflicting on their country. My mother and her 12 brothers and sisters, were born in a tiny mountain town in Ayacucho, Peru, the same department where the Sendero Luminoso and other guerrilla movements began. My father and his family are of African and European heritage and were born in a fishing village in the Northern coast of Peru. My mother's first language was Quechua, the most widely spoken indigenous language in the Americas. Although I knew Quechua as a child, my first language was Spanish. It is all that I spoke until I went to school and all that I continue to speak with my family.
My mother came to this country with a five year old son and a pregnant belly. She left behind all that was familiar to her, including her husband, who would join her a couple of years later. Although my parents came with little material possessions they came with something of more value, their culture. My parents brought with them their language, their music, their food and their dance. Most importantly, my parents arrived with the knowledge of their history and a strong desire for their future success. They passed all of this down to their children.
When I was 8 years old, my family and I joined a folkloric dance group. This experience taught me about the rich diversity that there is in Peru, ethnically, culturally and geographically. I embraced this diversity and later learned that I too am a product of the mixture of many cultures and races. Learning the history of Peru made me conscious of the fact that my ethnic and racial background belongs to that of the historically oppressed. I learned that some of my ancestors were taken from their native country while others’ native country was taken from them. This insight is what drives me to work with those from similarly disadvantaged backgrounds. I was the first of both sides of my family to be born in this country, as well as the first to graduate high school, college and now apply to graduate school.
I was raised in a low-income household with a big extended family. My household always consisted of six or more family members. Although this meant I shared a room with more than one person until I went away to college, it also meant I was able to learn about my culture from not only my parents but my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. All of the adults in the household worked, but I was fortunate enough to have never been left unattended. I was taken care of by my siblings and older cousins. They gave me the support needed to excel in school and stay out of trouble. Unfortunately, they did not have this same type of support and many of my older role models did not graduate high school and none of them went to college.
The support present in a big extended family is also what kept our family financially stable. My parents and family have always been self-employed, at first out of necessity and later out of convenience. Having their own business meant my family could make their own schedule, but also meant they worked 10 hour days every day of the week. My parents have had different jobs throughout the years, from selling t-shirts at tourist spots to managing an Andean music group. They currently have their own cleaning business doing janitorial service for various offices around the city. In addition to the family business, my father also works the swing shift as a janitor for __________. Although I can see how tiring it is for my father to work two service jobs at age 55, he continues this lifestyle so that his family will have health insurance. Through my parent’s struggles and hard work, I learned how truly important it was for me, a daughter of immigrants and a woman of color, to receive a higher education.
My parents, whom came from humble origins and never had the opportunity for a higher education, would always tell me that the only thing people cannot take away from you is the knowledge you have acquired. My parents’ desire for a better future for their children is what ignited my passion for learning and for helping empower others.

I am glad that a Latin American DS came on here too. It began to feel like this thread was developing its own definition of "Diversity" such that Diversity = African American.
lishi wrote:People are talking about how they can't just be put in the category "Black". Instead they are much more. They have different ethnicities and cultures, come from different countries, and many other qualities that set them apart.

If you can't understand where they are coming from then maybe you should get a reality check and deal with your own issues before judging others. :roll:


Well said Lishi.

AllisLaw
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby AllisLaw » Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:23 pm

Umm... yeah, actually I DO know what they are going through and what they've been through. I'm black too. I've been put in the "oreo" category. I have "mixed" ancestry. In fact, I'm often mistaken for another ethnicity/race. I wasn't referring to all of the essays, but there was one in particular that made me choose to write my original post in this thread. I was just throwing that out there. My first post was not judgemental.

I understand that this is a very sensitive issue, but I do believe that I am allowed to have my OWN opinion. And if I want to share that opinion and discuss it, I can. I was hoping that a board full of aspiring law students would be able to talk about such things w/o the eye rolling. That's what the comment about people having "issues" in my second post in this thread is about.

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friaznatch13
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby friaznatch13 » Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:48 pm

AllisLaw wrote:Umm... yeah, actually I DO know what they are going through and what they've been through. I'm black too. I've been put in the "oreo" category. I have "mixed" ancestry. In fact, I'm often mistaken for another ethnicity/race. I wasn't referring to all of the essays, but there was one in particular that made me choose to write my original post in this thread. I was just throwing that out there. My first post was not judgemental.

I understand that this is a very sensitive issue, but I do believe that I am allowed to have my OWN opinion. And if I want to share that opinion and discuss it, I can. I was hoping that a board full of aspiring law students would be able to talk about such things w/o the eye rolling. That's what the comment about people having "issues" in my second post in this thread is about.


Ok well how about this... you address what essay you were talking about and that person can explain or disagree with you. There's no point in you just saying something and leaving it out there and there's no point in anyone attacking you when it's unwarranted. Maybe it's just a bunch of confusion. You say you want to discuss your opinion so here's your chance...

colbytim25
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby colbytim25 » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:07 am

Being gay and a victim of sexual abuse have seriously affected my academic and personal life in both negative and positive ways. Informing my parents about my sexuality and the abuse I experienced when I was younger was very difficult. These obstacles have greatly impacted my life and have played key roles in my motivation to become a lawyer and advocate.
I was sexually abused for two summers at a summer camp in the Boston suburbs. My camp counselor had made me, as he put it, “his favorite camper.” This made me feel special and popular. In retrospect, this man was clearly taking advantage of me. I kept the abuse a secret from my parents and friends for as long as I could. Before the abuse, I was bubbly, social and always involved in sports and community events. The abuse made me sheltered, shy and often short-tempered. I was scared about what would happen if my parents found out. My parents are strict Roman Catholics. I was scared that they would deem me tainted or not pure when they found out about the abuse. I was also intimidated by the prospect of having to go to court and speak about the events.
I eventually told my parents about the sexual abuse and they promptly pulled me out of camp. I began having problems in school and abandoned many valuable friendships. At the same time, I was realizing that I was gay and was scared that my parents would assume that my homosexuality was a direct result of the abuse. This fear was a key reason why I did not disclose my homosexuality until well after college.
My parents still have a tough time accepting that my sexuality is not a direct result of the abuse. This train of thought makes it hard to maintain a normal line of

communication. In fact, when I disclosed the abuse my father began drinking heavily and my mother started working night shifts. After school, I found myself either reluctantly at home with my father or in the care of my grandmother. I was discouraged from pursuing my academic goals. My father maintained that schooling was overrated and useless. If there was a choice between studying for the SAT exam or playing a baseball game, my father would make me do the latter. My father thought that a high school diploma was all that one needed and was convinced I would end up doing work at the local electrical plant. He viewed me as a lost cause after finding out about the abuse and my sexuality. My mother was supportive when present but continued to work night shifts until I went to college.
Throughout high school and college, I was haunted by the abuse. I would not allow myself to become close friends with anyone out of fear that they might hurt me. I have seen numerous counselors to address these issues but the events of my childhood still run rampant in my mind. The abuse is still an important part of me and I realize it will remain this way forever. I have learned to accept this to a certain extent but the sexual abuse also continues to affect my work and personal life.
I am driven to become an advocate for people who have been mistreated. I am confident that my personal experiences will directly help many people in the future. While the focus of my work has been on asylum issues, I am also extremely interested in helping victims of sexual abuse harness their voices in courts. Many people are so scared that they will be neglected by the legal system. I hope to reach out to other victims so they do not go years without legally addressing sexual abuse like I did.

prettypithy
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby prettypithy » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:11 am

Colby,

I commend you on your honesty, resilience and bravery. Judging from the success of your cycle thus far, the schools you applied to saw these same traits and have rewarded you for them! Best of luck in the cycle and in life to come. You've already beaten so many odds, I have no doubt that you will continue to be a success and an inspiration to others.

hopefulsplitter
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby hopefulsplitter » Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:24 am

I hope that diversity statements are still meant for this.

AllisLaw
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby AllisLaw » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:49 pm

friaznatch13 wrote:
AllisLaw wrote:Umm... yeah, actually I DO know what they are going through and what they've been through. I'm black too. I've been put in the "oreo" category. I have "mixed" ancestry. In fact, I'm often mistaken for another ethnicity/race. I wasn't referring to all of the essays, but there was one in particular that made me choose to write my original post in this thread. I was just throwing that out there. My first post was not judgemental.

I understand that this is a very sensitive issue, but I do believe that I am allowed to have my OWN opinion. And if I want to share that opinion and discuss it, I can. I was hoping that a board full of aspiring law students would be able to talk about such things w/o the eye rolling. That's what the comment about people having "issues" in my second post in this thread is about.


Ok well how about this... you address what essay you were talking about and that person can explain or disagree with you. There's no point in you just saying something and leaving it out there and there's no point in anyone attacking you when it's unwarranted. Maybe it's just a bunch of confusion. You say you want to discuss your opinion so here's your chance...

Sure. Better yet. Maybe I just should've sent a friendly PM to the person. No need to turn it into a debate by posting it in here. Plus, it would take things off topic.

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friaznatch13
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby friaznatch13 » Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:32 pm

I just want to say that I hope everyone who hasn't written their statements yet really appreciate these... I felt so much like I was in the dark writing mine. I wasn't sure as to what I could or couldn't say, if I would sound like anyone else, or if I was even "Diverse" enough for a statement. I hope everyone else does really well and the statements up are absolutely awesome!!

dat_raw_n_tellect
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby dat_raw_n_tellect » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:52 pm

Deleted
Last edited by dat_raw_n_tellect on Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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cosmo
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby cosmo » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:31 pm

If anyone wants to see my DS, I will PM it to them, but I'm not posting it publicly here just yet!

colbytim25
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby colbytim25 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:28 pm

ill take a look cosmo.

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MissVirginia
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby MissVirginia » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:01 am

Interesting that people are referring to a single diversity statement; I wrote different versions that were tailored to different schools... I love the one I wrote for Georgetown, either they'll love it too or they'll think I am obnoxious for pushing the envelope so far... time will tell...

Thank you for sharing, good luck to you all.

EDIT: Got into GULC :D
Last edited by MissVirginia on Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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CLM
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby CLM » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:18 pm

I put a huge amount of time and effort into my personal statement, though a lot deals with my experience in the military I did in fact put in some information about my URM status, under the radar as to not make it painfully obvious.. So if you have the same military background I have, I believe this is a big way to make your diversity stand out..

In Ulysses, Tennyson wrote, “I am a part of all that I have met.” In short, what comprises our character is the sum of all our life’s experiences and challenges. In fact, I would like to tell you about one experience, more precisely one special warrior, who played a major role in shaping the person I am today.
Aaron Holleyman was not like most other knuckle-draggers I knew in the Special Forces community. He was reserved, well-read, fluent in a multitude of languages, and, although he was from a relatively moderate background, he was totally unremarkable. Aaron prided himself as much on his ability to comprehend advanced academics (e.g. quantum physics and calculus), as what he represented when dressed in a set of BDUs (Battle Dress Uniforms). He once attended Duke Medical School, but later dropped out and sought to “challenge himself” by becoming a paratrooper in Special Forces. Aaron was the type of sergeant who set the example for all the other Non-Commissioned Officers. He could spend a near infinite amount of time assisting lower ranking soldiers on the correct execution of field maneuvers, as well as, the proper maintenance of an M-4 rifle. Aaron personified everything I wanted to become as I fulfilled the solemn promise—to protect and serve the citizens of the United States. Aaron provided a standard I used to judge myself by, ultimately allowing me to bring my men home from Iraq without a single casualty. Moreover, perhaps what endeared Aaron the most to me was his uncanny ability to bring out the best in people. He saw through one’s imperfections and recognized the potential that harbored beneath.
One incident in particular, Nasty Nick, will remain with me for the rest of my life. Nasty Nick was five miles of obstacle courses highlighted by concertina wire (slinky-shaped barbed wire), rope bridges, hills, mud, and small bodies of water, accompanied by seemingly endless dark-winding tunnels. These tunnels stretched for miles, smelt like moldy cheese, and were infested with snakes, rats, and raccoons. The Special Forces use Nasty Nick as a tool for separating the truly gifted soldiers from those who are better suited for the more cerebral and less physically demanding assignments. One day my unit was tasked with competing in the annual Ranger Challenge contest, where Nasty Nick would serve as the crucible. Each unit on post was to select a two-man team to represent it in the competition. Almost no one wanted anything to do with it. As fate would have it, having no justifiable excuse to shield myself, I was chosen as one of the participants. Suffice it to say, I was about as out of shape as a defective Firestone tire. One might be surprised to learn that dinners comprising of Twinkies, cheesy puffs, doughnuts, and 3 liter bottles of Mountain Dew are not conducive to a stellar athletic performance at any competition, let alone this monster. I was in serious jeopardy, and my best friend, Aaron, knew it. Therefore, Aaron volunteered to be the second leg of the team, and assumed the Mission Impossible task of ensuring that we would give the performance of our lives.
We had less than a month to train for what was to come. Every time we worked out, Aaron accepted nothing less than total dedication. For one month we ran up hills, swam up streams, and low-crawled through fields. In thirty days he succeeded in preparing us for a test many require a year of training to successfully endure. In like fashion, on the day of the competition, Aaron accepted no excuses and allowed nothing less than total commitment. My arms trembled, my feet swelled, and layers of skin were seared from my hands. Yet Aaron prodded me through every step, through every breathless gasp of the competition saying, “Chris, don’t quit on me! Don’t you dare let this beat you. You’re better than that! A little bit further, and it will be all over…” My stomach screamed in agony and my head spun. Throughout a litany of challenges we excelled at a faster, more demanding pace than I had ever permitted myself to achieve. At the finish line, Aaron and I collapsed in the mud laughing hysterically. Though drained physically, we felt more alive than ever. We were unkempt, unbroken, and undeterred.
Two years later, I received a phone call that was to alter my life once again. The phone rang at 1:45 a.m., awakening me from a peaceful dream. At the other end of the line, was a distraught paratrooper, who had been on a convoy with Aaron in Tikrit, Iraq a couple of nights before. Aaron was dead! Sergeant Holleyman had selflessly chosen to track down and retrieve one of his platoon’s vehicles which had fallen behind the main body of the convoy and could not be contacted. Once more Aaron, choosing to assume the personal responsibility for another soldier in jeopardy, went back and searched for the lost FMTV (Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles). Within in an hour Aaron found the truck stuck in a ditch, and managed to pull the vehicle out of its predicament. However, while driving back to rejoin the main convoy, his vehicle ran over and detonated an IED (improvised explosive device). He was killed instantly. As fate would have it, Aaron’s vehicle was in the lead; thus, making him the only casualty, just as Sergeant Holleyman would have wanted it. It was this paratrooper, spared by Aaron’s resolve to “leave no man behind”, who would later that week place a call to the United States, awakening me from my slumber.
Two days before my father passed away he left me with a great piece of advice concerning life; “Chris throughout life you will cross paths with a lot of genuinely good people, these people pay their taxes, take care of their families, obey the law, and worry about the common fears that accompany life. However, every now and then you will cross paths with someone different, someone with a strong sense of love for life, and a strong love for their fellow man. These unique people consider almost all things deeply and seldom anything worth wild escapes their notice.” My father believed me to be such an individual, but I knew instantly that my own father and my best friend Aaron were such men, and now sadly both will be missing from my life. Nonetheless, I consider myself fortunate enough to have gleaned a small remnant from the greatness which resided in both these men souls. This is ultimately the gift I wish to impress upon others during and after my own time expires on this small round orb called Earth. I'm the sole author of the book entitled, “The Life and Times of Christopher Lee Mora.” It matters little if I am the only one in my huge Puerto Rican family to finish college, or if most of the other inner-city minority kids I went to school with are incarcerated, or will never make it out the ghetto. Whenever I am presented with a new, more difficult obstacle course I will struggle to overcome it with the encouraging words of my best friend Aaron whispering in my ears, “Do not give up, do not let this beat you, you are better than that; a little bit further and it will all be over.”

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Mattalones
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby Mattalones » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:39 pm

.
Last edited by Mattalones on Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lishi
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby lishi » Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:34 am

Now that most people's cycle is over, does anyone have any diversity statements they would like to share??

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ChinaBowls
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby ChinaBowls » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:21 pm

After reading these statements, I am anxious to write my own! But I think I'm oing to wait until I get my LSAT score to begin.

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mpasi
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby mpasi » Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:09 pm

lollypotter wrote: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?



Oreo is not a term reserved solely for biracial people...black people who don't fulfill certain black stereotypes or don't exhibit "black" behaviors are also considered Oreos.

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Objection
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby Objection » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:47 am

Some of these diversity statements look like they're pushing the limit in terms of pages.

Isn't 1 double-spaced page the unwritten rule?

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lishi
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby lishi » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:50 am

I sent a 2 page double spaced DS to all the schools I applied to.

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Objection
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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby Objection » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:52 am

Most applications I've looked at (Michigan's, for example) say the optional essays should be about 1 page.




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