Diversity Statement Draft

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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bk1
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Diversity Statement Draft

Postby bk1 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:16 am

First draft of my diversity statement regarding being multiracial. Is 1 page with 1" margins, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font a good size for a DS (around 375-400 words)? Should it be longer (i.e. smaller font, single or 1.5-spaced, etc)?

My eyes flitted back and forth between the choices, pencil hovering centimeters off the paper. "Puerto Rican," "Mexican," "Japanese," "White," "you must choose only one." I was barely ten and yet acutely aware of the agony that this standardized test put me in. I thought to myself, "but these are all me, how I can choose one and not the others?" Hesitantly I filled in a single bubble as the form requested, the pencil strokes feeling as painful as if I were choosing one of my parents over the other, or cutting off one of my own limbs.

I do not recall the bubble I filled in that day, but I do remember shifting my answer every time the question was posed. While I hated the feeling of being marginalized as a multiracial individual, it did force my eyes open in ways that might not have happened otherwise. As a child I had not understood what it truly meant to be multiracial. My father was Japanese and Puerto Rican and many of my cousins were as mixed as I was; it felt normal to me. Entering the public school system I realized that it was anything but. Walking into M.E.Ch.A. Club or the Japanese Students Association drew stares and gazes. I was different and I looked it, but it fueled a desire to showcase the diversity inherent within myself. I wanted to prove that being Puerto Rican did not stop me from being white, or Japanese, and vice versa.

My upbringing has been a mix of cultures: the Puerto Rican dialect of Spanish my father spoke, the traditional cooking of my Japanese grandmother, the roots of my mother's family going back to the original American colonies, and tons upon tons of other layers that compose me as an individual. Those layers make me proud of the unique heritage I possess, proud that my grandparents were born on three separate landmasses separated by vast oceans, that my parents were born over six thousand miles apart; it is a distinct part of who I am. To this day I cherish the fact that my experiences are shaped by the attitudes and values of three very different cultures. I understand what that test helped show me: how rare my opportunity is and that I am richer for it.


Tear it up or tell me I should start from scratch. Thanks for the help/advice. :)

EDIT: I'm also willing to do trades if people want to PM me PS's/DS's. I probably won't be able to get to them for a week and a half as I still have finals to get through.
Last edited by bk1 on Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Dany
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Re: Diversity Statement Draft

Postby Dany » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:53 am

bk1 wrote:First draft of my diversity statement regarding being multiracial. Is 1 page with 1" margins, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font a good size for a DS (around 375-400 words)? Should it be longer (i.e. smaller font, single or 1.5-spaced, etc)?

My eyes flitted back and forth between the choices, pencil hovering centimeters off the paper. "Puerto Rican," "Japanese," "White," "you must choose only one." I was barely ten and yet acutely aware of the agony that this standardized test put me in. I thought to myself, "but these are all me, how I can choose one and not the others?" Hesitantly I filled in a single bubble as the form requested, the pencil strokes feeling as painful as if I were choosing one of my parents over the other, or cutting off one of my own limbs.

I do not recall the bubble I filled in that day, but I do remember shifting my answer every time the question was posed. While I hated the feeling of being marginalized as a multiracial individual, it did force my eyes open in ways that might not have happened otherwise. As a child I had not understood what it truly meant to be multiracial. My father was Japanese and Puerto Rican, [insert comma] and many of my cousins were as mixed as I was; it felt normal to me. Entering the public school system I realized that it was anything but. Walking into M.E.Ch.A. Club or the Japanese Students Association drew stares and gazes. I was different and I looked it, but it fueled a desire to showcase the diversity inherent within myself. I wanted to prove that being Puerto Rican did not stop me from being white, or Japanese, and vice versa.

My upbringing has been a mix of cultures: the Puerto Rican dialect of Spanish my father spoke, the traditional cooking of my Japanese grandmother, the roots of my mother's family going back to the original American colonies, and [strike]tons upon tons of[/strike] the various other layers that compose me as an individual. Those layers make me proud of the unique heritage I possess, proud that my grandparents were born on three separate landmasses separated by vast oceans, that my parents were born over six thousand miles apart; it is a distinct part of who I am.*** [strike]To this day[/strike]I cherish the fact that my experiences are shaped by the attitudes and values of three very different cultures, and I now understand what that test helped show me: how rare my opportunity is and that I am richer for it.


Tear it up or tell me I should start from scratch. Thanks for the help/advice. :)


A few thoughts (they're just nitpicky, I liked it overall!):

"You must only choose one" isn't one of the choices you were looking at, it's the directions, so I think it would be better to say "My eyes flitted back and forth between the choices, pencil hovering centimeters off the paper. "Puerto Rican," "Japanese," "White." The directions were clear: I must only choose one." - or something to that effect. Separate your choices from the directions that couldn't accommodate your unique situation.

"agony" and "cutting off one of my own limbs" seem really strong for a ten-year-old's feelings. I would think it would be confusing, or even annoying, but I don't know that it's an agonizing choice for someone who's 10, especially given that later you say that as a child, you didn't fully understand what it meant to be multiracial.

"inherent within myself" sounds a little redundant, since inherent essentially means "within." Maybe just "my inherent diversity" or a similar phrasing.

"tons upon tons" sounds a little bit too informal.

*** That sentence is a bit awkward, but the idea is great. Maybe rephrase it a bit more succinctly, something like: "Those layers make me proud of the unique heritage I have received from grandparents who hailed from three separate landmasses separated by vast oceans, and parents who were born over six thousand miles apart."

Those are my initial thoughts, but overall I think it's a solid DS!

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DavidYurman85
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Re: Diversity Statement Draft

Postby DavidYurman85 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:27 pm

I like it: quick and to the point. Like the poster above suggested, I would clean it up a bit.

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bk1
Posts: 18426
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Re: Diversity Statement Draft

Postby bk1 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:42 pm

Thanks to both of you!

I agree with your comments eskimo, it helps having another set of eyes because a lot of things don't always pop out to me from my own writing. Gonna clean it up a bit and repost when I get the chance, though I still have a few finals to get through.

As I noted above, I'm willing to swap statements if people want to.




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