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Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.” The Common Application also provides students with the opportunity to talk about some aspects of diversity in the first and fifth prompts.Many students are baffled about what to write about themselves concerning diversity.While this question is most common in graduate school applications, it does come up in undergraduate admissions.
In general, these statements are an opportunity for applicants to explain to a search committee the distinct experiences and commitment they bring to the table.
So, how do you write an effective diversity statement?
I can assure you that many faculty members truly care about diversity and equity and will read your statement closely.
I have been in the room when the diversity statement of every single finalist for a job search was scrutinized.
Thus, search committees are still developing assessment tools for such statements, and many campuses lack clear guidelines.
Schools like Yale, UC Berkeley, and many public universities ask their applicants questions about diversity.The candidates who submitted strong statements wrote about their experiences teaching first-generation college students, their involvement with LGBTQ student groups, their experiences teaching in inner-city high schools and their awareness of how systemic inequalities affect students’ ability to excel.Applicants mentioned their teaching and activism and highlighted their commitment to diversity and equity in higher education.A person’s diverse skills and perspectives are from his or her geography, gender, socio-economic status, race, spiritual beliefs, family background and experiences, special skills and talents, etc.For example, you might be a strong debater because you grew up in a family of eight, where everyone gave their opinion about a news article over dinner.That is not an effective strategy, because it does not show a genuine commitment to diversity and equity.Of course, it is true that many faculty members overtly reject campus efforts to enhance diversity and equity.Some job applicants think that writing a diversity statement that shows they actually care about diversity and equity may be too political.Thus, they write a blasé statement about, for example, how they encourage students to come to class in pajamas if they feel comfortable.Contributing to a school’s “diversity” doesn’t simply refer to the fact that you are a member of a racial or cultural minority.Diversity includes anything about a person’s background that will make his or her perspectives and skills unique.