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Sample Diversity Statement for Graduate School, Korean Applicant

Born and raised in South Korea, a more-or-less ethnically homogenous society, most of the human diversity that I saw around me was based on one’s economic class rather than race. My father had run a successful business in the beauty industry and we had been able to live a comfortable upper-middle-class existence. As the business started suffering from a downturn, however, we found ourselves having to struggle as most people did to make ends meet. This increased my awareness of diversity and I began to take a keen interest in social justice issues, the divisions between economic classes in my country and the economic realities on which they were based. For four years prior to leaving Korea, I volunteered as an academic tutor for children from low-income families because I learned early on that this was the best hope for reducing inequalities in Korean society. My own status as someone from an upper-middle-class background reinforced my sense of duty to help those members of my society that are less fortunate.

As a final project for my Statistics class in college, I conducted an observational study that entailed analyzing demographic and test score data from all high schools in Massachusetts. Coming from a low-income family was shown to have more significant effect on students’ academic achievements than race or even disability. Completing a project for my Macroeconomics class dealing with the US health care system, I further confirmed the notion that low-income families are more vulnerable to changes in health care systems. These issues prompted me to include helping the least fortunate members of society to improve their circumstances as part of my own professional goals: helping to create free online higher education courses open to the public; and to build a personalized medical assistant that tailors itself to the needs of each individual at basic levels or higher, helping to enhance access to medical care.

When I first came to the States to begin my undergraduate program at Smith College, I immediately joined a most beautiful celebration of diversity and throughout my stay I relished getting to know people of many different cultures of origin, ethnic makeup, family composition and sexual orientation. I adored the way that Smith College is an open community where people talk about differences in non-judgmental ways and this helped me to grow and flourish enormously in every way, especially by being nonjudgmental. My second year at Smith College was made difficult by the fact that my father’s business went bankrupt and my parents got divorced. As a result of the financial challenges that ensued, I also had to double up on my classes so as to avoid a final year of tuition. But, on the bright side, the Smith College community set me free and allowed me to realize my own social identity in the fullest sense. I ‘came out’ as a bi-sexual woman at Smith College and this was enormously important to me, on intellectual as well as social and emotional levels. I am now a liberated and confident young woman who accepts herself as she is and others as they are.

I firmly believe that a PhD program in Statistics is the optimal springboard to launch my career, so as to maximize my contribution to the development of global society. Furthermore, I look forward to contributing to the celebration of diversity as a graduate student, as a young professional and as a researcher, taking profound delight in the full emotional embrace of everyone around me, helping to shape and uplift our community.

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Sample Additional Questions and Answers Concerning Diversity

1) Please describe your experience with diversity and your potential to engage diversity in the field or the profession (100 words or less) 

I grew up in a family where ethnicity was seldom talked about. My father was treated as if he were the first Mexican to arrive in Portsmouth Ohio. I married an ethnically diverse individual, further enriching my understanding of multiculturalism and what it means to be a minority. But my most formative experience in diversity was working with a community of indigenous people in Alaska. Professional engagement with diversity is central to my desire to work on behalf of children in Oaxaca, Mexico, introducing some of the poorest children on the planet to—virtual—freedom in the modern world

Why should we choose you over another candidate?  100 words or less

My greatest asset, not shared by the overwhelming majority of applicants, is my maturity. At 49, I would bring a lifetime of experiences to your program, many of which are fundamentally relevant to academic discussions of the roles of diversity and autochthony in the development of information systems. I see all needy children as my own; and my roots and lengthy experience in Oaxaca provide me with an excellent theater of operations for research and development of initiatives in children’s information resources. At the southern tip of our hemisphere, these are the North Americans that need us most. 

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Helping with your Diversity Statement

I enjoy very much helping to foster a community of scholars and students united by their commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and its transmission from generation to generation. We celebrate diversity because we see it as fundamental to knowledge itself, advancement in the humanities, the arts, and the social as well as physical or natural sciences. We affirm the importance of a broad and critical education in enriching the lives of students and preparing them for full participation in a changing society. Thus, I seek to empower ethnic minorities and foreign-born students, in particular, to take full advantage of every opportunity to promote their own welfare at the same time that they always remain fundamentally concerned about the welfare of others.

How do I write a diversity statement for law school?