Please Help Critique My Diversity Statement (LGBT focused)

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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:27 pm

Please Help Critique My Diversity Statement (LGBT focused)

Postby sfamor » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:50 pm

I know everyone's busy putting the final touches on their own statements, but I'd greatly appreciate a critique of my diversity statement (and am happy to swap). I'm concerned that I may not have focused enough on my own experiences and how that has shaped me and instead focused more on my activism and career goals. I feel like I need a final sentence to tie it all together- any suggestions? Constructive criticism very much appreciated!
In the diverse and progressive San Francisco Bay Area, the fact that I have a long-term female partner is generally a non-issue. Being an out lesbian in a small-town Vermont high school was a different story. My parents had raised me to be proud of who I was and stand my ground in the face of adversity, but after two years of enduring frequent taunting and teasing from my peers, and even one teacher, I had had enough. I enrolled in a home-based independent study program through my school district beginning my junior year.

At first, this experience left me paralyzed by feelings of anger and sadness about the ways that I had been treated because of my identity and I became depressed about what my future could hold. I was ultimately able to funnel those feelings into a lifetime commitment to advocacy and activism for LGBT rights, as well as the related struggles of other oppressed groups. I was an active participant in the queer student groups at both my undergraduate and graduate institutions and initiated projects that were close to my heart. As an undergraduate, after witnessing the attempted suicide of a friend who was a young transgender man, I organized a school-wide ‘Transgender Day of Remembrance’ to provide education, promote dialogue and tolerance, and create awareness of the many transgender individuals who have been killed out of hate. As a social welfare graduate student, I took a leadership role in organizing a a panel discussion for National Coming Out Day two years in a row. I have additionally participated in campaigns and community service related to the rights and civil liberties of the LGBT community.

In my current job as a public child welfare worker working with marginalized families of all forms and shapes, I have observed that the reality of the concept of family in America is often at odds from the traditional images portrayed in the mainstream. As I have reached my late twenties and contemplate beginning my own family, I am drawn to and excited about the legal challenges that are arising as the concept of family continues to change and evolve in the United States. New legal issues impacting the future of LGBT individuals and families are debated in the courtroom every day. As LGBT and other non- traditional families take on new shapes and meaning, lawyers will play a substantial role in the decisions dictating their legal futures. Utilizing the skills and training I will gain in law school and drawing upon my own background and experience, I hope to be in a position to one day play a pivotal role in this arena.

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