Diversity Statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

Is this worthwhile? What should I do with it?

This will add something to your application. Minor things aside, you're ready to submit!
2
50%
This might add something to your application, but it needs some serious help/redrafting before you submit.
1
25%
A story like this won't add anything to your application. Leave it out.
0
No votes
This could hurt your application. Whatever you do, don't submit it.
1
25%
 
Total votes: 4

Anonymous User
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Diversity Statement

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:43 pm

What do you make of this? Seriously, I have no idea what I'm doing.

EDIT: See second draft below.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Steve2207
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: Diversity Statement

Postby Steve2207 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:57 am

Somewhere in the fifth grade, I noticed my eyes would catch on the boys in the room much sooner than on the girls. At first, it terrified me.[ this short sentence seems awkward to me, I would put a comma after girls and say “girls, and at first it terrified me] When being gay was mentioned at all in my hometown,[delete this comma] it was in the same tone as being clumsy or weak or stupid—[this hyphen feels awkward, I would end with stupid and start a new sentence saying “ Not necessarily a misconduct, but instead a shortcoming or failure that would surely be met with a rolling of eyes”] not exactly misconduct, but a shortcoming: a failure to be met with a characteristic rolling of the eyes, a heavy sigh, or a sharp glare. I knew then that I was supposed to be straight. [You knew you were supposed to be straight? I would reword this, this statement should be an expression of how you except yourself for your diversity, and this sentence sounds as if you except an ailment or disability] And I knew that I wasn't.

I cannot say how much one led to the other, but my compulsion to study ethics grew up alongside my grudging adolescent acceptance of the fact that my eyes were going to keep catching. It became important for me to reconcile the simple and timeless conception of the good that I had learned in Methodist Sunday school—[ again I don’t like the hyphen, just say which was or something similar]be kind, be[delete this “be] honest,[add “and] be your best self—[now you are really overdoing the hyphens, I would add another comma and say “yet I found myself in the closet” if you feel strongly about that statement. But it would be better to end at the word self, and begin a new sentence describing your feelings about in the closet]with the closet in which I found myself. Late one night in high school, I discovered on the Internet Jeremy Bentham's 18th century attack on sodomy laws, which he grounded in a simple and apparently uncontroversial premise: the equal and unbending worth of each person. I found links at the bottom of the page and quickly moved on to Oscar Wilde's hopeless and defiant speech to an English jury a century later.[ this feels awkward because I don’t know what Wilde’s speech was about at this point] Before sunrise,[delete comma] I had learned the names of Frank Kameny, Harvey Milk, Andrew Sullivan, and Dan Savage;[delete semicolon and say regarding] the history of the Stonewall riots;[delete semicolon] and the names of two cases decided a few years earlier: Goodridge v. Department of Public Health and Lawrence v. Texas. As the sun rose and I headed off to class,[delete comma and say “I glew” not I glowed] I glowed with hope. In a certain glib, fifteen-year-old way, I felt as though,[delete coma} after a long time adrift,[delete comma] my own life had caught the current of history.

Last May, almost eight years later,[again with the comma, you are comma splicing the hell out of this!] that feeling came back. As I sat in a study carrel on the fourth floor of the college library parsing the whithertos and whyfors[ “withertos and whyfors feels really awkward here, and I’m not even sure what it means. Plus its slang, explain what you mean in a way that sounds more sophisticated] of the argument [ add “presented] in my last paper of the semester,[end the sentence here, the comma doesn’t belong ! start a new sentence about your phone call] my phone went off. President Obama had,[delete comma] quite[delete quite] unexpectedly,[delete comma] come out in support of marriage equality. Beyond my control, I started to glow all over again.[this needs reworded, although it may not be technically wrong, it could really hit home if better worded] Again, the world called me down from my academic perch to dance and shout a little. In Tucson,[lose coma] my little oasis,[lose comma] we [who is we?? I’m guessing the gay community? But you need to express that] smiled all night.

I know viscerally the power of the law to improve lives. [ I think viscerally may be misused here, and I know the sentence seems awkward, try “ within myself I am certain that the law can be used to improve lives” or something similar] I understand to my core its role as a common instrument for expressing our shared values.[ This seems awkward too, say “ I undeniably believe that the law can also be used to express the shared views of society” or something similar] These lessons are etched into me,[lose comma] and I will bring them with me to[ scratch all this and say “and I will carry them with me throughout my study of the law] my study of the law.

What you are trying to say is GREAT! But you need to reword it better; also you are comma splicing the hell out of this. A lot of the sentences have good points, but you need to word them in ways that draw the reader’s attention. Honestly, a lot of the wording combined with the comma splices had me scratching my head like “what does he mean”. The subject is good and relevant, but you need to word it in a way that makes the reader feel as you do. The way it is just doesn’t do that. Good luck, and PM me if you need a second read after proofing!

Anonymous User
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Re: Diversity Statement

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:07 am

Thanks! I tend to be reckless with commas—and em dashes. Few things:

→As far as "I knew I was supposed to be straight," the message there was that being straight was made normative in a way that I internalized, even though it was inappropriate. I thought that was pretty clear, but maybe not?
→I wanted to say "glew" at first, too, but it turns out that it's not a word. "Glowed" is the past tense. Too ugly? "began to glow?" better?
→The figures I list were not involved in the Stonewall Riots. I have a list within a list, so I used semicolons. That's what you're supposed to do, right?
→I am struggling to think of a better way of putting it than "I began to glow all over again." But one has to be out there. Ideas?
→Essentially, Oscar Wilde came out at his sodomy trial in response to a question asked by the prosecutor: "What is 'the love that dare not speak its name?'" Here's how I've rephrased it: "I found links at the bottom of the page and eagerly moved on to Oscar Wilde's hopeless and defiant coming out at his own trial a century later." Better?

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Steve2207
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: Diversity Statement

Postby Steve2207 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks! I tend to be reckless with commas—and em dashes. Few things:

→As far as "I knew I was supposed to be straight," the message there was that being straight was made normative in a way that I internalized, even though it was inappropriate. I thought that was pretty clear, but maybe not?
→I wanted to say "glew" at first, too, but it turns out that it's not a word. "Glowed" is the past tense. Too ugly? "began to glow?" better?
→The figures I list were not involved in the Stonewall Riots. I have a list within a list, so I used semicolons. That's what you're supposed to do, right?
→I am struggling to think of a better way of putting it than "I began to glow all over again." But one has to be out there. Ideas?
→Essentially, Oscar Wilde came out at his sodomy trial in response to a question asked by the prosecutor: "What is 'the love that dare not speak its name?'" Here's how I've rephrased it: "I found links at the bottom of the page and eagerly moved on to Oscar Wilde's hopeless and defiant coming out at his own trial a century later." Better?


1. Definitly wasnt very clear the way it was worded, I would word it better.
2. Your right about the "glew" yes began to glow does sound ALOT better.
3. I wouldnt use the word glow again honestly, try something like " I was again filled with excitement as a result of the increasing acceptance of my sexual orientation" or somthing similiar.
4. Yes thats better because you have atleast gave the reader some insight to what you are reffering to, but I would still play with the words alittle to make this sound stronger.

Hope this helps, this needs some work but the theme could definitly go along way with adcomms if better worded and revised.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273509
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Diversity Statement

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:01 am

Here's a second draft:

Somewhere in the fifth grade, I noticed my eyes would catch on the boys in the room much sooner than on the girls. At first, it terrified me. When being gay was mentioned at all in my hometown, it was in the same tone as being clumsy or weak or stupid—not exactly misconduct, but a failure to be met with a characteristic rolling of the eyes or a sharp glare. Growing up in this circumstance, I knew that I was expected be straight. And I knew that I wasn't.

I cannot say how much one led to the other, but my compulsion to study ethics grew up alongside my slow adolescent acceptance of the fact that my eyes were going to keep catching. I wanted to reconcile the simple conception of the good that I had learned in Methodist Sunday school—be kind, be honest, be your best self—with the challenge of the closet. One night in high school, amid my 2:00 AM Internet reading, I found Jeremy Bentham's 18th century argument against sodomy laws, which he advanced from the premise that each person has equal and undeniable worth. Eagerly, I followed a link at the bottom of the page to the story of Oscar Wilde's hopeless and defiant coming out at his own trial a century later. Before sunrise, I had learned the names of Frank Kameny, Harvey Milk, Andrew Sullivan, and Dan Savage; the history of the Stonewall riots; and the stories of appellate cases in Texas and Massachusetts that affirmed what I had doubted: there was actually nothing wrong with being gay. As the sun rose and I headed to class, I started to glow with a surprising hope. In a certain glib, fifteen-year-old way, I felt as though, after a long time adrift, my own life had caught the current of history. HOMETOWN was still deep in the desert, but in green, faraway places like New York, Massachusetts, and San Francisco, the hard work of lawyers and activists was making a space for people like me.

That feels like a long time ago. Since then, I've come out to my friends and family. I've learned to make space for myself in an environment that is not always welcoming. I've worked with campus and community LGBT groups to make living openly easier for those who are not as lucky as me. With time, my sexuality has found a comfortable place alongside the rest of my goals and identity. But I will not lose touch with the feeling that there is still work to be done—the electric, ambitious hope that we can make things better still. Last May, as I sat in a study carrel on the fourth floor of my college library parsing the fine points of the argument in my last paper of the semester, my phone sprang awake to tell me something incredible: President Obama had come out in support of marriage equality. I should tell you that in that moment, every ounce of that ridiculous fifteen-year-old's hope came rushing back, fresh and full.

I see vividly the power of the law to improve the lives of people on the margin—the people Harvey Milk called the “us-es.” I understand to my core its role as an instrument for expressing a shared conception of justice. These lessons are etched into me, and I will bring them with me to my study of the law.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273509
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Diversity Statement

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:02 am

I'm most interested in this: Does the concluding Barack Obama and why-law stuff flow? If not, what can I rearrange or eliminate to help it?




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