Religion as a topic for a diversity statement -- DS Posted

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hawaii
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Religion as a topic for a diversity statement -- DS Posted

Postby hawaii » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:11 pm

Is it too risky to have religion as my topic for my diversity statement?

After the input, I went ahead and drafted the DS. It is a rough draft so please, go at it and let me know what you think. I really don't want this to come off as if I was preaching my religion to my peers. I was just trying to get them to understand that Sikhism does not equal Islam and that I am not a terrorist.

hawaii wrote:Sitting in the trash can of my sophomore English teacher’s classroom was my picture in the school newspaper. Someone had so artfully modified it by placing me behind bars wearing a prison uniform and holding a sign that read “Mrs. Osama bin Laden.” No one had ever asked before where my parents were from or what religion I practiced, but after 9/11, that was the only thing my peers seemed to care about. I was born and raised in Hawaii, a place often referred to as the melting pot of diversity. Sadly, my ethnicity and religion were not among those represented on the islands; I can count the total number of Sikh children on the island of Oahu on just my hands alone.

I chose to believe that the person who defaced my picture in the school newspaper did so as a result of ignorance and not hate. A great majority of my peers had never left the state of Hawaii, let alone the island of Oahu, and as such, they had no exposure to Sikhism. While this had never been an issue prior to September 11th, this started to have a very real consequence for my life. I decided to use the prying questions from my peers as an opportunity to educate them about my religion.

Once the discussion began, the questions came pouring in. “Why do you wear that red dot on your forehead?” “What do you mean you have never cut your hair?” Sharing my religion and background opened others to talking about theirs. Listening to my classmates teach me about their different backgrounds truly opened my eyes to the world. It helped my peers and I realize that no matter where we had all come from or what religion we practiced, we still shared the common bond of growing up together in Hawaii. Our parents might have come from different ends of the earth, but we all loved listening to the ukulele, hanging out at the beach on the weekends, and occasionally enjoying some poi.

The more we all learned about each other, the more accepting we all became. That experience fostered a curiosity in me to learn more about cultures, religions, and points of views that differ from my own. This curiosity has proved to be an invaluable tool for me in life because it reminds me again and again that there is never just one way of looking at the world. My curiosity and experiences have provided me with a unique perspective that would make me a valuable asset to XYZ law school.
Last edited by hawaii on Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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bk1
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:13 pm

Depends how it is written. If you come off as an insane fundie or are in some sort of cult I could see it being a prob but generally I doubt it would be bad.

JJDancer
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby JJDancer » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:13 pm

generally, no

cubswin
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby cubswin » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:14 pm

Would your religion contribute to the diversity of their student body?

thechee
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby thechee » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:20 pm

I have a friend who wrote a very long and overtly religious PS for a T10. He was accepted, and majorly outperformed his numbers, to the point of being an extreme outlier on LSN (not a URM). Sometimes being passionately dedicated to something, and having the resume to prove it, can get you places in the admissions world.

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homestyle28
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby homestyle28 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:21 pm

cubswin wrote:Would your religion contribute to the diversity of their student body?

This. Don't be a white christian who thinks they're somehow a member of a minority group. Or at least don't write about it.

hawaii
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby hawaii » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:22 pm

cubswin wrote:Would your religion contribute to the diversity of their student body?


I believe so. I was thinking about discussing how my religion always made me feel like an outsider when I was growing up and how those experiences have impacted the way I view the world.

thechee
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby thechee » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:24 pm

homestyle28 wrote:
cubswin wrote:Would your religion contribute to the diversity of their student body?

This. Don't be a white christian who thinks they're somehow a member of a minority group. Or at least don't write about it.


This is precisely what my friend did, and it worked spectacularly for him.

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homestyle28
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby homestyle28 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:27 pm

thechee wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:
cubswin wrote:Would your religion contribute to the diversity of their student body?

This. Don't be a white christian who thinks they're somehow a member of a minority group. Or at least don't write about it.


This is precisely what my friend did, and it worked spectacularly for him.

But he had "the resume to prove it." I'm not saying don't write about religion per se. But don't talk about how being a campus crusader made you feel like an outsider/adds diversity to the LS (I say this as a former CC'er with a seminary degree).

hawaii
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby hawaii » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:32 pm

homestyle28 wrote:
thechee wrote:
homestyle28 wrote:
cubswin wrote:Would your religion contribute to the diversity of their student body?

This. Don't be a white christian who thinks they're somehow a member of a minority group. Or at least don't write about it.


This is precisely what my friend did, and it worked spectacularly for him.

But he had "the resume to prove it." I'm not saying don't write about religion per se. But don't talk about how being a campuscrusader made you feel like an outsider/adds diversity to the LS (I say this as a former CC'er with a seminary degree).


I wasn't a campus crusader. I'm a Sikh who grew up in hawaii where the entire Sikh population is barely over 30 ppl

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PinkCow
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby PinkCow » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:36 pm

How about strict religious upbringing as something that was overcome? Sort of an awakening...

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Lwoods
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby Lwoods » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:48 pm

hawaii wrote:I wasn't a campus crusader. I'm a Sikh who grew up in hawaii where the entire Sikh population is barely over 30 ppl


I think there's potential for a great DS. Would it be from a religious standpoint or a cultural one or both? Write a draft and see how you feel about it.

hawaii
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby hawaii » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:57 pm

My religious upbringing wasn't all that strict. It would be mainly from a cultural standpoint but my religion would definitely be a defining aspect

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aesis
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby aesis » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:12 pm

What about progressive Christianity?

I was published for an article I wrote on a topic especially related to progressive Christianity, and won Most Outstanding Submission for the academic journal that published it. If I spun it to say something about Christian paradigms and presenting a view opposite that paradigm (progressive Christianity), would that be viable?

I'm thinking yes, but could be quite wrong.

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bk1
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:18 pm

aesis wrote:What about progressive Christianity?

I was published for an article I wrote on a topic especially related to progressive Christianity, and won Most Outstanding Submission for the academic journal that published it. If I spun it to say something about Christian paradigms and presenting a view opposite that paradigm (progressive Christianity), would that be viable?

I'm thinking yes, but could be quite wrong.


Is it about you? It's about saying something related to you not necessarily something relating to religion in general.

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aesis
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby aesis » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:20 pm

bk1 wrote:
aesis wrote:What about progressive Christianity?

I was published for an article I wrote on a topic especially related to progressive Christianity, and won Most Outstanding Submission for the academic journal that published it. If I spun it to say something about Christian paradigms and presenting a view opposite that paradigm (progressive Christianity), would that be viable?

I'm thinking yes, but could be quite wrong.


Is it about you? It's about saying something related to you not necessarily something relating to religion in general.


Yes, I am a progressive Christian due to my studies in 21st century Christian historiography. In other words, as a lawyer I would bring a historically grounded and extremely atypical perspective on Christianity to a student body, which could enrich/change/alter stereotypical perceptions of Christianity among my peers, peers who inevitably will be among the intellectual elite.

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bk1
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:24 pm

I think that anybody for whom religion plays a pivotal or important role in their life would be okay to write a DS about it because they probably are a diverse voice when it comes to law school generally. I would expect that for the majority of law students, even though they probably profess a religion, it is mostly just lip service.

hawaii
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby hawaii » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:39 pm

Thanks for all the input. I drafted my DS and posted it in my OP. Let me know what you think.

cubswin
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby cubswin » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:27 pm

hawaii wrote:Is it too risky to have religion as my topic for my diversity statement?

After the input, I went ahead and drafted the DS. It is a rough draft so please, go at it and let know your thoughts. I really don't want this to come off as if I was preaching my religion to my peers. I was just trying to get them to understand that Sikhism does not equal Islam and that I am not a terrorist.

hawaii wrote:Sitting in the trash can of my sophomore English teacher’s classroom was my picture in the school newspaper. Someone had so artfully modified it by placing me behind bars wearing a prison uniform and holding a sign that read “Mrs. Osama bin Laden.” No one had ever asked before where my parents were from or what religion I practiced, but after 9/11, that was the only thing my peers seemed to care about. I was born and raised in Hawaii, a place often referred to as the melting pot of diversity. Sadly, my ethnicity and religion were not among those represented on the islands; I can count the total number of Sikh children on the island of Oahu on just my hands alone.

I chose to believe that the person who defaced my picture in the school newspaper did so as a result of ignorance and not hate. A great majority of my peers had never left the state of Hawaii, let alone the island of Oahu, and as such, they had no exposure to Sikhism. While this had never been an issue prior to September 11th, this started to have a very real consequence for my life. I decided to use the prying questions from my peers as an opportunity to educate them about my religion.

Once the discussion began, the questions came pouring in. “Why do you wear that red dot on your forehead?” “What do you mean you have never cut your hair?” Sharing my religion and background opened others to talking about theirs. Listening to my classmates teach me about their different backgrounds truly opened my eyes to the world. It helped my peers and I realize that no matter where we had all come from or what religion we practiced, we still shared the common bond of growing up together in Hawaii. Our parents might have come from different ends of the earth, but we all loved listening to the ukulele, hanging out at the beach on the weekends, and occasionally enjoying some poi.

The more we all learned about each other, the more accepting we all became. That experience fostered a curiosity in me to learn more about cultures, religions, and points of views that differ from my own. This curiosity has proved to be an invaluable tool for me in life because it reminds me again and again that there is never just one way of looking at the world. My curiosity and experiences have provided me with a unique perspective that would make me a valuable asset to XYZ law school.


Since I never really read them, I'm not sure if Diversity Statements are just inherently trite or if yours just started veering in that direction near the end. You seemed to be off to a great start, but once you got here I started to cringe:

I realize that no matter where we had all come from or what religion we practiced, we still shared the common bond of growing up together in Hawaii.


And then when I read this, I threw up in my mouth a little bit:

That experience fostered a curiosity in me to learn more about cultures, religions, and points of views that differ from my own.


Nonetheless, you seem like an ideal candidate to write a DS about your religion. If I were you, I'd drop the multiculturalist platitudes and try to finish up with something more original.

hawaii
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby hawaii » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:59 pm

Thanks for the input. I agree that the ending is a bit trite so I will work on that. Does anyone else have any insights?

hawaii
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Re: Religion as a topic for a diversity statement

Postby hawaii » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:33 pm

bump




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