Diversity Statement Samples

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

Postby Objection » Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:58 pm

Anyone want to read a very early copy of my DS? Thanks

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby B5A2D1 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:41 pm

Standing in a line that continued well into the school parking lot was a tiring way to start school on humid August days, but it was even worse in the cold winter months. However, for our own safety it was necessary. Often lasting almost 15 minutes into first period, metal detectors were an essential safety measure at my high school. In the last three years of my experience, safety rather than education became the administration’s focus. There was a steady downward socioeconomic trend in the neighborhood surrounding the school that produced a student body unconcerned with academics.
Without a doubt, my high school was negatively affected by the nation’s “No Child Left Behind” Act. The first year of the law’s enactment, my high school was on the passing list, while a local high school in an adjacent community was not. When this school lost funding and was shutdown, an influx of new students transferred in. Within a year of these new arrivals, XXX High had transformed from an award-winning institution for its work in international studies to the second most dangerous school in the city system. New rules such as no backpacks in classrooms, restrictions on what colors could be worn, and a policy of metal detectors took priority over new books, higher quality teaching, and academic extracurricular activities.
With few positive influences, I motivated myself. Looking at the change in my community and in my peers served as my motivation to work harder to rise above and beyond my environment. My senior year was highlighted by a fellow student abandoning her newborn in the woods behind the baseball fields, a citywide televised brawl in the school parking lot, and gang recruitment at the neighboring middle school. Events such as these inspired me to not let my environment dictate my future, and by graduation, I could say that I completed this task by receiving offers of acceptance from ten universities. Ninety percent of those who actually went to college from my high school chose state schools; however, I knew that the XXX name alone carried significant prestige. Surprisingly, I could not anticipate how driving just 200 miles east on Interstate 40 would produce such a dramatic change in atmosphere.
In retrospect, I was not ready for XXX when I got there. In high school, I had a “do it myself” attitude because there was no one around to help me succeed academically. I brought that same attitude with me to XXX where, unfortunately, that approach was insufficient. Freshmen year, I picked classes before even talking to my assigned advisor, still thinking I could do it all myself. I carried that over to schoolwork, never meeting with professors and using the same study tactics I used in high school, even though the work was not of the same caliber. Though outwardly confident, inwardly I was self-conscience and began questioning my own worthiness to be at an institution like XXX, coming from where I came. My mediocre preparation for college produced mediocre results my freshmen year and the first semester of my sophomore year.
Half way through sophomore year something clicked for me. In a private meeting with an English professor to discuss my work, he told me that he saw great potential in my work, however my refusal to seek even a little help prevented me from presenting my best material. Swallowing my pride, I took his advice and before my last paper of the semester, I sought out his help and subsequently received the best grade I had on a paper. In that moment, I understood what he meant by my potential and felt for the first time that academically, I belonged. I saw how even one conversation with him about my understanding of the material allowed me to surpass in quality my previous work. Such a small effort demonstrated to me how seeking out help could produce a much needed change. Elated in the small steps needed to have such benefits, it was at this point that I made the commitment to myself to use my advisors and professors to my advantage. Through a close relationship with one of my advisors, I learned how to pick classes that more correctly suited my strong points. I changed my study habits drastically until I found a method that began to produce the results I once thought were unattainable. I refused to become satisfied or stagnant with just better grades than before, and through the weeks I began to strive for the best grades possible. The second semester of my junior year, when I received Dean’s List honors for the second time in a row, I finally felt like I knew what it took for me to succeed at XXX.
Though I came into XXX inadequately prepared, the lack of preparation allowed me to learn a bigger life lesson. I realized that my “self-sufficient” mindset was only working against me, and that asking for help and learning from the experiences of others did not mean I was incapable. It took a certain amount of maturity for me to be able to accept this and make it work for me rather than against me. Though I don’t have the highest GPA, I carry with me the feeling of achievement. Mere numbers could never account for the life lessons I have learned here at XXX. I have transformed greatly since my days standing in the parking lot waiting to be cleared by the metal detectors. Now, I stand ready to take yet another step away from that reality towards my dreams.

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby sher85 » Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:46 pm

Great statements people!

Would anyone be interested in going over my DS?

I know some people have said they turned in DS that were over 1 page doubles-spaced. Mine is about 1.5 double spaced, but I want to make sure I have compressed it as much as possible w/o losing the flow.


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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby Objection » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:28 pm

I'm annoyed with Ulfrekr's DS because it is virtually identical to my life.

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby whattodo2008 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:42 pm

Could we get more of these? Thanks!

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby fluffy » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:52 pm

I have a short diversity sample I'd like feedback on (just about 1 double spaced page). i prefer to PM. Anyone??


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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby casper00 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:23 pm

If somebody could please read my diversity statement please PM.

I'd love some feedback -> gay Orthodox Jew DS

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby friaralum08 » Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:18 pm

Thanks for the comments.
Last edited by friaralum08 on Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby summertimechi » Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:01 pm


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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby matt30 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:03 pm

Which schools accept diversity statements? Sorry, I come from a UC and they don't accept here.

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby maiamimi » Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:52 am

Having split my life between two countries and cultures, I find I always stand out a bit, but the reasons are different in each place: In Ecuador, I struggle with sociopolitical and religious differences; in the United States, I must navigate the ethnic stereotypes based on appearance.

As a Latina in the professional world, I constantly have to prove myself. After college, I worked as an assistant for a large law firm. Though there were many 20-something assistants on their way to law school, because I was Hispanic, people assumed that being a secretary was my chosen career. I was often asked how my children were, the assumption being that I was a stereotypical Latina who worked to support her family. To be treated with the same professional respect as the other young assistants, I had to pointedly mention my educational background and aspirations. Though I was distressed by these assumptions, I tried to understand them. The issue wasn’t really ethnicity but rather a particular socio-economic status that was assumed because of it. Most Latina secretaries at the firm were career assistants who had families and thus people simply came to expect this from someone who looked like me.

In Ecuador things were different; it was my customs and sociopolitical views that were often at issue. My expectations of social norms were one thing, the reality was another. I remember the day in high school when someone noticed the Jewish star I wore. Later, one of the girls in my class yelled, "Hey Maya, I'm a Nazi. What're you gonna do?" I was stunned. After a moment, I went over and said “Christine, I don’t think you really know what that means; if you did, you never would have said it.” The next day there was a small swastika etched into my desk. Thinking back on this, I realize that teenagers in Ecuador lack the Holocaust education that I generally expect. It is not part of the Ecuadorian cultural fabric. Christine was not anti-Semitic, she just didn’t understand the Holocaust and what I considered to be acceptable rhetoric in regards to it.

To comprehend the assumptions of my co-workers and the actions of my high school peers, I had to overcome my initial frustrations and examine my environment. Similarly, I believe that understanding a variety of views and their contexts is essential to working in law, particularly as our world becomes more internationally oriented. One must understand the perspective of the underrepresented and often discriminated-against minorities, and also the sometimes subconscious prejudices that pervade different societies. As someone who has lived in such different cultures and experienced them both as a native and as a foreigner, I believe I can bring a unique perspective to my law school class.[/b][/b]

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby zero1 » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:45 am

CLM wrote: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.”

One of the more interesting PS statements I've read on here.

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby rpatton1 » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:01 pm

Can someone check my diversity statement and tell me what they think.?????
I haven't sent it anywhere yet. I am applying to top 25 schools but not ivy league. I do intend to try to "transfer up" if possible since I graduated from a lower tier undergraduate.

It was an afternoon workout sweat pouring, a slight cut on my elbow, and the sun won’t stop leaning on me. Then finally a voice said from a distance “Have you made a decision yet?” Having run 1,000 yards worth of wind sprints dragging a truck tire I was taken aback by such a question. I replied curiously, “Made a decision about what?” The voice was a familiar one; he was an assistant football coach at one of the local high schools and the only African-American near the top of the local athletic coaching tree. The decision he was referring to was the decision of what high school I would attend that fall. What I didn’t understand was that each black eighth grader needed to choose a high school to attend in order to continue playing competitive athletics. I grew up in the projects on the north side of town and always expected to attend North High School. What I didn’t see coming was the concern for what seemed like a trivial decision. In today’s world of athletics, universities offer college scholarships to athletes in the eighth and ninth grade so that where one attends high school actually matters. This coach’s concern was that he heard I was going to North High School to play basketball. With over 20 years of coaching experience, he didn’t think going to North was a good idea if I was serious about sports. He felt that the coach at North played black players only if he had to and, if he had enough other talent he wouldn’t put any black players on the court. Coach had heard that a number of large universities had been keeping tabs on my progress and were also interested in what school I was going to.
I ran home to inform my mom of the situation, only to hear her response: “If you run home and cry every time someone says you’re going to get treated badly because you’re black, you might as well stay home.” My mother cared more for academics, didn’t believe in ever playing the race card and thought that, in most cases when black people used it, it was unnecessary. She also didn’t believe in excuses as she worked 12 hour shifts as a cafeteria lady at a local factory. She raised her four kids by herself and never complained once. As life went on, all of my three sisters became teenage mothers and I began less and less capable of coming home with excuses. The decision of which high school I attended seemed to become quite insignificant.
So I went on to North to find that everything that coach had mentioned about the athletic programs was completely true. There were no more than two black guys on the basketball team at any time and they weren’t playing on the floor at the same time. This, in the 21st century at a school with over 2,000 students and hundreds of them were black. It was shocking to me that this was going on and that no one would say anything. I got extremely frustrated but never complained. Instead, I stayed focused on being the best person and leader I could be and I went on to become the first black student council president in the school’s history. What I didn’t realize was that this wasn’t going to be the last time I would run into such people who didn’t view differences as a benefit to society.
When I started my collegiate career I wanted to get involved in campus service and leadership. After serving as the college of business representative to student government, I decided to make a run for student government president. I worked tirelessly to garner the support of different campus constituencies and to have the support of many campus organizations. I was personally involved with a Christian fraternity and also helped mentor college and high school young men. This involvement was different because most black students were involved on campus in more traditional fraternities and did their community service through them. This difference created a division of opinion as to whether as a black student I was too “white” to represent the campus. Because I had not joined the more historically-black fraternities, I was considered too “white” by some, and to others I was too “black” to represent a campus of so many. I’m now at a new crossroads being too “black” to some and too “white” to others. I’ve always accepted being too “poor”, to some while growing up on food stamps and welfare, but being too “white or black” really bothered me as a college student.
Through it all, I went on to become the first two term black student government president in school history. In the position, I was able to appoint more black students to top campus leadership positions than there had been in the school’s history. I was very proud of that accomplishment more than the sheer numbers but did it to demonstrate that black students could take on leadership roles and be involved on campus without losing any of their “blackness.”
In the end it’s about what a person does to help people. Regardless of what people say or think about you, if you are doing the right thing with the right intentions their views and opinions will have no effect on outcomes. I have no problem being too black, white, or poor as long as I am helping better my community.

thanks for reading.

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby ruleser » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:05 pm

One day, when I was approximately thirteen years old, I was sitting in front of my Commodore computer attempting to teach myself computer programming from a book I had bought for myself. With my father having left when I was five, and my second fatherish figure, a man who had lived with us for some years but whom I don’t know exactly what title to give, gone as well, my mother was off at work trying to support us.

The peace and joy I was having with my 20 kilobyte computer was interrupted that day as my older brother returned home with some of his friends. They laughed about what a loser I was for working with computers, took the mirror I had just won at the county fair off the wall and started snorting cocaine off of it. I must have had a shocked look on my face, because one of them said something to the effect of, “Look, the dork doesn’t know what these mirrors are really for.” I closed my computer programming book and carefully walked past them out of the room.

In high school, I was an honors/AP student who finished near the top of my class at a top-quality institution. However, my path was not as easy as it may have appeared to others. With an absent father and a regular presence of drugs and gang members in my home, in addition to other situations, I was still able to excel, spending much of my time at the gym or participating in sports, as well as tending to my studies.

Family situations became less manageable during my time in college. Despite finishing near the top of my class and obtaining three scholarships and AP credits to bring with me to college, my family required me to attend an instate state school and to study engineering, which was not a major I would have chosen. After a year and half, following a semester of conflict in which I rebelled against my family’s wishes and took courses related to international business, I had to leave school temporarily for a combination of health and family reasons.

Determined to complete my education, I returned to school in XXXX. Again, I was required to attend the cheapest instate state school possible, but this time I managed a compromise and was allowed to take international business and law classes, in which I obtained mainly A’s, a brief window into what my college career might have been. However, after a year and half my father told me he would not pay for me to complete my degree. Unable to obtain financial aid due to being claimed as a dependent on his tax return, I tried to switch to a major I could simply complete quickly. After a semester of trying to cram in a whole degree in a topic my heart wasn’t in, I withdrew from college again.

This time, I was determined to finish college without depending on anyone else. It took a year and a half of working for slightly above minimum wage and a move halfway across the country to get back into a situation where I could once again attend school. With the prerequisites and general education requirements substantially different at my new school, it would have been a couple of years before I could begin to take the international business courses I needed for that major. Not able to afford two extra years of college, I opted to move forward with obtaining a degree that would still allow me to make a difference in the world, in this case through the arts. I went on to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, two of the proudest achievements of my life.

At about the time I graduated, I got a call from my brother telling me to go buy the current issue of XXXX magazine. It was the April X, XXXX issue. The headline read, “Hoodfellas – The New Generation of Mall-Rat Mobsters.” On the cover was an artist’s rendering of a young man with no name given. But I knew that man. He was one of the boys who had been in my room snorting cocaine and taunting me that day. The story told how his brother had just gone witness protection and turned in many of their associates, including John Gotti, Jr. Apparently the gangs I had been exposed to growing up were feeder gangs for the mafia, with a number of the members sons of the heads of two major crime families.

The brother who went witness protection owes me fifty dollars. He borrowed my bike to ride to football practice one day in ninth grade and brought it back to me with one of the rims bent. He said he would give me fifty dollars to pay for it. I’m still waiting, luckily not with baited breath.

Unfortunately, the grades and scholastic track record I present do not reflect my abilities, which are that of the top student I was in high school and the top employee my recommenders note. What I hope you see when you look at my record is not inconstancy or inability to excel, but the path of someone who refused to let obstacles get in the way of my attaining an education.

Thank you for your consideration.

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby n8tiveprincess » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:11 am

lishi wrote: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

“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.

Very nice statement. I have gone through a similar struggle, and I wrote something like this as my personal statement applying as an undergrad.....being half white and half Native American....some of the full bloods or darker skinned ones don't think of me as being one of them....which I hate and its totally ridiculous because how much more Native can I be? I wish we could all just be accepting of each other no matter what color or group one wished to identify with.....my tribe gets a lot of flak from other tribes in OR because a lot of us are light skinned....and some don't even look Native...It kind of sux and I wish ppl would get over it....its not like I can help it...=[

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby ipaik » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:20 am

I love all these diversity statements! I never wrote one, and now I'm really glad I didn't, because it wouldn't have compared to any of yours.

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby n8tiveprincess » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:35 am

MissVirginia wrote: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

I was wondering how that strategy worked? Writing many diversity statements tailored to different schools? Also I am assuming that racial discrimination, not fitting in with one group or the other, and or bias against mixed races is a shared story among biracial ppl, but do admissions comm. want to hear my story about having to live in 2 worlds and feeling different. Its my story, but it seems pretty common....idk thats what I was going to write about, but are ad. comms looking for more originality, or just your story on why you are diverse no matter if they have read hundreds of statements that are very similar.?

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby rachilde » Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:22 am

I don’t know when I started to think of myself as bisexual. But I do know when I started to think of bisexuality as difficult. I had been with my best friend on one of the most important days of his life when it happened. He had decided to come out of the closet; and I was the first person he came out to. We immediately started talking about his homosexuality. I was excited; I wanted to know everything. I hoped his experience would resemble my experience as a bisexual. I wanted to identify with him. It soon became clear, however, that his homosexuality was very different from my bisexuality. He did not understand how I could equally prefer both genders. He could not imagine being attracted to women at all, and the thought of sexual relations with women repulsed him. Furthermore, the idea of bisexuality troubled him. He felt he could not grasp the possibility of bisexuality; and thus, decided to ignore it.

“I’d prefer to think of you as straight,” he’d said. This would be said to me throughout high school and college by both heterosexuals and homosexuals. During those eight years, I saw countless magazine articles documenting the phenomenon of ‘bar bisexuals.’ In these articles, I saw bisexual women represented as products of excessive inebriation, narcissism, greed, and nymphomania. More troubling, these ideas about bisexual women stuck. Bisexual women became an unreal identity: it was the pretense of the promiscuous; the excuse of the drunkard; the title of the confused, and the asterisk of the LGBT community.

“Just ignore the part of you that is attracted to women, and you’ll become just like any other heterosexual woman,” said one boyfriend, while allusions to my interest in men would earn long lectures against heterosexuality from my lesbian suitemate.

But I neither became ‘just like any other heterosexual woman,’ nor transformed into a lesbian. I stayed the bisexual woman not portrayed in movie theatres. I refused to disappear into misconception. I insisted on visibility, acknowledgement, and respect from my peers, gay and straight, and I was rewarded for my persistence.

My identity as a bisexual woman has taught me to accept diversity as a complex virtue that must not be lost to division. I could have rejected the truth of my identity through changing titles: I could have passed for a heterosexual; I could have passed for a lesbian. But I chose not to pass for anything but myself; and, in doing so, I accepted the myriad of paradoxes and complexities contained within myself. I have not been reduced to false oversimplification and in rejecting that fate for myself, I have also rejected it for my peers, my friends, and my world. I have learned to let diversity flourish without the urge to partition; and for this, I am grateful.

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby Nicklicious » Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:56 pm

Hi friaznatch13,

I expect you've gotten into a fine law school, and you're very happy :-)

My can't keep anything to myself attitude is what's urging my response here. I read this and I was very offended. As a Jamaican of African, Chinese, and Indian descent, I kept thinking, that you were not trying to highlight your unique qualities, but downplay the fact that you have African ancestry.

Canadian and Jamaican are not races, Black is. You put, "although I have found that I have no choice but to mark the box that says [Black]." 1. You aren't obligated to put anything there, there is always the option of Other and 2. just the way you put it sounds like you regret that when people look at you they see Black.

Your words "I am a quarter White and the majority Indian, it just so happens that my skin color matches that of other African Americans" you have not named anything at all that would make me think you have any African Ancestry, which leads me back to my first question, why are you checking the "Black" box.

It is one thing to appreciate everything that you are, it is another to completely want to disassociate with a race you look down on.

You say "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" WHAT?!?! What does not classifying yourself as Black have to do with stereotypes? Plenty of Black people don't fit those stereotypes, and they have no issues identifying as Black.

You know I don't know your story, and what led you here. I listen to all types of music, hang out with all groups of people, and fortunately, I've never experienced the things you have. At least not to the point where it would upset me.

I'm not sure how an admissions officer would read this, or even how important diversity statements are, but I read this and thought, "who taught this girl that being Black was bad?" You make it sound so ugly.

friaznatch13 wrote: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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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby brockw82 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:04 pm

Any advice on this one?

I was 19 years old when my mother asked me the question everybody in my situation dreads hearing. “Are you gay?” That was a question I had been struggling to answer myself for many years. I was always cognizant of the fact that I was different than those around me. Since I was in high school, I had be living two separate lives; one as the average jock hanging out at friends’ houses during the weekend and one as the gay man attempting to come out of the closet.

The two worlds merged during my freshman year at the XXX. At first, a wave of dread came over me when I remembered how my friends and family spoke about gay people. Many believed that gay people were choosing their sexuality and that it was a “disgusting, immoral behavior”. I arrived at a crossroad; I could both feel sorry for myself and let my studies suffer, or I could embrace my sexuality no matter what opinions others held. Although many of my friends chose not to be associated with me any longer, and my parents disapproved initially, the best decision I have made thus far was to come out of the closet.

Since I embraced who I truly am, I have become an active member in the community and have dedicated myself to fight against discrimination whenever possible. As the Vice-President of the student government association at SUNY Potsdam, I argued for and helped to appropriate more funding for the LGBTA association. As a candidate for a seat in the New York State Assembly, I frequently spoke out against injustices against the elderly in my district. Only once I realized I had stand up for myself and work towards achieving my goals could I dedicate myself to community service. I look forward to contributing my experiences to the campus; I believe I would be an ideal addition to the legal community at XXX.

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby rhinestonedarling » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:42 pm

Diversity Statement- Growing up a Missionary's Kid

I lived in a motor home, motels, and vans for most of my childhood. My parents were missionaries who traveled the country, carting my sister and me along wherever they went. I was able to see vast natural beauty of mesas in New Mexico and mountains in Branson, Missouri. I learned to surf short waves on the Atlantic Coast. Once, I even caught a glimpse of Lambeau Field.
Not every experience was pleasant. I was cowering in the bathroom of a rickety church in Chickasha, Oklahoma when the infamous 1999 Oklahoma tornado touched down, eventually killing almost 50 people. I spent nights in the south side of Chicago, where the blaring of sirens and ringing of gunshots obliterated any chance I had of going to sleep. At the age of 11, I panicked when my 5-year-old sister and I were alone in our motor home and someone tried to break in. I had my faith called into question when I refused to speak in tongues at a rural church in Wisconsin.
By the age of 13, I truly believed that I was a sophisticate. I thought I had met every person, seen every tragedy, and had every experience that life had to offer. Of course, as I grow older, I realize more clearly that is not true. However, the assortment of people, places, and things to which I’ve been exposed puts into perspective any obstacle I face on an ordinary day.

I know it's not earth-shatteringly great, but I just wanted to share! :)

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby idapie18 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:06 pm

Re-starting on the 2010 app cycle (early, I know, but I realllllly dislike writing about myself, so everything I do write comes out phooey). Anyone want to review my first draft DS? PM me if interested. THANKS!

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby bobkjohnson » Sun May 24, 2009 12:04 am


Would anyone be willing to look over my diversity statement, its a very very very rough draft, I would appreciate it!


edit: PM me, if you're interested. Did I already say i would appreciate it? lol

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby royal34 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:54 pm

Hey everybody! I am not going to post my diversity statement, but I do want to offer some advice as I wind down my cycle. (I will be attending Emory in the fall but I am riding the Columbia waitlist)

I would say the main focus of my DS was the fact that (direct quote from my DS) "My diversity is not solely the color of my skin nor my ethnic heritage alone; it is also my ability to think outside of the box."

I talked about what I bring to the table because of the fact that I am diverse. What I can contribute to the law school and what I add to the legal community. I'm black. I'm African (born and then moved to the US). I am a female. My father is Muslim. My mother is Christian. All of these different aspects contribute to how I think.

I would advise maybe people should shy away from the generic I am a minority, I have struggled route. Unless you really do have some SUPER amazing story in that department. Use your diversity as one reason why you add more value to the law school over another candidate.

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Re: Diversity Statement Samples

Postby corresponding Cor » Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:30 pm

Anyone want to review my DS or swap? If so, shoot me a PM. Thanks.

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