Help me Diversity Statement?

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BiancaMarie819
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:00 pm

Help me Diversity Statement?

Postby BiancaMarie819 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:03 am

I wasn't planning on writing one, but everyone who I've spoken to has encouraged me to do so. Couldn't hurt right? Well this is what I have so far? Critique, and tips please!

I am a token. The token to what you may ask? I am the token black girl, even though to me as humans we are all one and the same. We all come in to this world the same way, and we all leave the same way. We’re all born with ten fingers, ten toes, and a beating heart. Yet, you’re telling me that what differentiates you from me is color? The color of my skin, the texture of my hair is what defines me. Not my feats, not my successes, nor my past, but by the color of my skin. By these traits and characteristics you know me, right? Wrong!!! But you still see me as the token, the token of the white community, but the abnormality of the black community. I’m abnormal because I’m different. I am different than the stereotypes that constantly ring through your ears. Yes, I know that Bianca means white in Italian, no it isn’t ironic. No, I don’t play basketball. No I do not love fried chicken. Well I do, but not because I’m black, it’s just because it happens to be good.

Growing up I wasn’t exposed to “typical” Black American culture. I grew up on oxtails, reggae music, and Jamaican patties. My parent’s grew up in Jamaica, a country whose population has various ethnicities including those of African descent. As a result, they were able to grasp the concept that most of my friends were Caucasian, and that sometimes I liked to listen to country music, or to go camping. I sometimes wonder if everyone believes that I am atypical: my parents, my Caucasian friends, my African-American peers. Practically everyone at some point viewed my activities as rebellious, a hatred for my culture and identity, but it was merely ignorance. The same ignorance that faces most of the world is basically what I lived. Just as many other citizens, I didn’t want to learn. I didn't want to be stereotyped so I remained the token.

“Out of many, one people”, the Jamaican motto, is more than just a phrase. It’s my life. In America even though we are surrounded by people from all walks of life, we are still one people. The color of our skin, our socio-economic backgrounds, our lifestyle choices, are the things that make us identify as different, and in many cases stereotype people based upon these often incidental factors. I used to ignore black culture, however, the more I tried, and the older I became the more I was forced to grapple with the challenge of facing the ignorance and became obligated to explore the parts of my own culture that has such an impact on how I am viewed by others.




455 words

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AOT
Posts: 1317
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:34 pm

Re: Help me Diversity Statement?

Postby AOT » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:46 am

Diversity statements are the worst. This isn't anything against yours in particular, but I really don't understand why people try and push URMs into writing them.

The feeling that we have to at once be as black as possible in order to get exotic bonus points, but also not be like those "other" blacks is so ingrained into the way we approach white society it's become a cliche. I'm really not trying to attack your statement here or your experiences, it's just sad how common this is. "Caught between two worlds" is obviously a part of your life, but I think it's pretty much the life of every high achieving black person in a developed white country.

So sorry for the ramble. I guess what I'm saying is that there are so many diversity statements that are exactly this and that sucks. Not that anything you wrote was invalid. Maybe explore something related to your Jamaican heritage that you think gives you an interesting insight into something in particular?

First thing I thought reading this was just "Oh god not again..". and I'm not an admissions committee member who's read a ton of applications

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sashafierce
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Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:44 am

Re: Help me Diversity Statement?

Postby sashafierce » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:59 am

Did not want to be the first to comment because I don't like being the initial bearer of bad news but I agree with alloverthat. If you must submit a Diversity Statement focus on your Jamaican heritage, focus on that aspect of your culture, the whole caught between worlds storyline is overused.

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banjo
Posts: 1345
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:00 pm

Re: Help me Diversity Statement?

Postby banjo » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:40 am

This statement is bland, rambling, and badly written. Scrap it and start over. Maybe tell us a short, punchy story about how your Jamaican heritage has shaped your perspective on the world.

BiancaMarie819
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:00 pm

Re: Help me Diversity Statement?

Postby BiancaMarie819 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:50 am

Got it, thanks! Thats why I initially didn't write one because all it would be is an emphasis on being black which isn't much diversity. I'll see what I can try and write about being Jamaican...

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ChemEng1642
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Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:26 pm

Re: Help me Diversity Statement?

Postby ChemEng1642 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:51 pm

BiancaMarie819 wrote:But you still see me as the token, the token of the white community, but the abnormality of the black community.


^Also definitely don't say sentences like this. Remember the "you" is the adcom




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