diversity statement

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kirbyshil

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diversity statement

Postby kirbyshil » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:20 pm

Hi!
I'm having a hard time deciding what to do regarding a diversity statement. I am white, and when I first brainstormed what I would right about I thought that it might hurt me to write something. Basically, my situation is that I grew up in a small, blue-collar town in a blue-collar family. Parents struggled a lot. Pretty much nothing new or exciting there...But, I'm finding that the only reason I'm considering writing this essay is the fact that, because of where I come from and my family's situation, I had to work 30+ hours per week while going to college full-time. So, my GPA obviously isn't where it should be...which makes me wonder if it's more effective to submit an addendum? Thoughts?

QContinuum

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Re: diversity statement

Postby QContinuum » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:32 pm

I'd lean against writing a DS, because working part-time during college isn't unusual. A DS might be warranted if there were challenges you faced beyond needing to do work-study - say, a parent or sibling with a severe health/addiction issue, or if you've been at risk of homelessness or food insecurity, or had to put your studies on hold due to lack of finances, or something along those lines. But I wouldn't do a DS just to talk about growing up blue-collar or needing to do work-study.

I agree you were at a disadvantage to your richer classmates, who had more time to relax/socialize/study/etc. And you ought to be justifiably proud of yourself for getting to your current position despite your lack of parental financial backing. But unfortunately that doesn't rise to a level where a DS would be called for.

cavalier1138

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Re: diversity statement

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:38 pm

QContinuum wrote:I'd lean against writing a DS, because working part-time during college isn't unusual. A DS might be warranted if there were challenges you faced beyond needing to do work-study - say, a parent or sibling with a severe health/addiction issue, or if you've been at risk of homelessness or food insecurity, or had to put your studies on hold due to lack of finances, or something along those lines. But I wouldn't do a DS just to talk about growing up blue-collar or needing to do work-study.

I agree you were at a disadvantage to your richer classmates, who had more time to relax/socialize/study/etc. And you ought to be justifiably proud of yourself for getting to your current position despite your lack of parental financial backing. But unfortunately that doesn't rise to a level where a DS would be called for.


Agree with all this.

Additionally, the way you wrote about the DS in your initial post makes it sound like you think it's mandatory. Diversity Statements are optional for a reason. You're not a diverse candidate for admission; there's no need to try and force that. The majority of people who get admitted will not have any diversity factors going for them.

kirbyshil

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Re: diversity statement

Postby kirbyshil » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:42 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
QContinuum wrote:I'd lean against writing a DS, because working part-time during college isn't unusual. A DS might be warranted if there were challenges you faced beyond needing to do work-study - say, a parent or sibling with a severe health/addiction issue, or if you've been at risk of homelessness or food insecurity, or had to put your studies on hold due to lack of finances, or something along those lines. But I wouldn't do a DS just to talk about growing up blue-collar or needing to do work-study.

I agree you were at a disadvantage to your richer classmates, who had more time to relax/socialize/study/etc. And you ought to be justifiably proud of yourself for getting to your current position despite your lack of parental financial backing. But unfortunately that doesn't rise to a level where a DS would be called for.


Agree with all this.

Additionally, the way you wrote about the DS in your initial post makes it sound like you think it's mandatory. Diversity Statements are optional for a reason. You're not a diverse candidate for admission; there's no need to try and force that. The majority of people who get admitted will not have any diversity factors going for them.


Do you think I could benefit from an addendum?

QContinuum

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Re: diversity statement

Postby QContinuum » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:28 pm

kirbyshil wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
QContinuum wrote:I'd lean against writing a DS, because working part-time during college isn't unusual. A DS might be warranted if there were challenges you faced beyond needing to do work-study - say, a parent or sibling with a severe health/addiction issue, or if you've been at risk of homelessness or food insecurity, or had to put your studies on hold due to lack of finances, or something along those lines. But I wouldn't do a DS just to talk about growing up blue-collar or needing to do work-study.

I agree you were at a disadvantage to your richer classmates, who had more time to relax/socialize/study/etc. And you ought to be justifiably proud of yourself for getting to your current position despite your lack of parental financial backing. But unfortunately that doesn't rise to a level where a DS would be called for.


Agree with all this.

Additionally, the way you wrote about the DS in your initial post makes it sound like you think it's mandatory. Diversity Statements are optional for a reason. You're not a diverse candidate for admission; there's no need to try and force that. The majority of people who get admitted will not have any diversity factors going for them.


Do you think I could benefit from an addendum?

No, unless you can write about something beyond having to do work-study in college.

nixy

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Re: diversity statement

Postby nixy » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:35 pm

The only reason I would write an addendum would be if working 30 hrs/wk isn't clear from the rest of your application. If it's clear from your resume, or you reference it in your personal statement, I wouldn't bother. It's not strictly unusual, but I think it's a data point that helps adcomms evaluate your application. Even then, I would keep it really brief, and you might be better off just stating you worked 30 hours a week in the relevant portion of your resume. (I don't think calling working 30 hours a week "work-study" is quite accurate; I have a very different reaction to the two things.)

BarelyConcealedRage

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Re: diversity statement

Postby BarelyConcealedRage » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:18 pm

I come from a similar background as OP, but i was wondering if a DS would be warranted if I come from a single parent family and had a parent with an extreme mental health disorder that forced me to take care of them from early childhood? Additionally would having a learning disability contribute? I am a straight white male unfortunately so from my understanding that might nix the idea of a DS at all.

Or should this be put in a PS only. I feel like it would be difficult to write about my desire to go to law school and my life circumstances in one essay.

cavalier1138

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Re: diversity statement

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:28 pm

BarelyConcealedRage wrote:I come from a similar background as OP, but i was wondering if a DS would be warranted if I come from a single parent family and had a parent with an extreme mental health disorder that forced me to take care of them from early childhood? Additionally would having a learning disability contribute? I am a straight white male unfortunately so from my understanding that might nix the idea of a DS at all.

Or should this be put in a PS only. I feel like it would be difficult to write about my desire to go to law school and my life circumstances in one essay.


In your case, the taking-care-of-parent narrative sounds like fertile ground for a PS. The learning disability might be worth a DS, but be very careful about focusing too much on learning disabilities. Depending on the nature of your particular issue, it can backfire.



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