The diversity statement is a relatively new requirement for faculty teachers. It is now an essential statement that is required when you apply for a position at any job. Because it’s new, most graduate students, as well as faculty members, don’t really know what it is.
In this article, we will talk about diversity statements, along with the questions that you need to create when writing one. More importantly, a diversity statement sample is also discussed in this article, so you will know exactly what you have to write.
What’s a Diversity Statement?
First and foremost, let’s talk about what the diversity statement really is. To put it simply, this is a one-page document that explains a person’s commitment to diversity and includes a few personal experiences that they have had in regard to diversity.
As you can imagine, any university that requires you to write a diversity statement has a strong commitment to inclusivity and wants to promote and support a diverse population. As a result, the diversity statement is their way of evaluating whether you will be supportive of their commitment and will contribute to it.
Questions for Drafting the Statement
Before you decide to draft a diversity statement, it’s important that you ask yourself a few questions. Think of the diversity statement as a teaching statement, so the bulk of the content will be based on what you have done and achieved in championing the cause of diversity.
There are three areas that you need to focus on when writing the diversity statement. They are as follows:
- Your values in respect to diversity
- The experiences you have had while working with a diverse group of people
- The personal plans you have related to furthering inclusivity
What Should I ask Myself?
There are plenty of questions that you are going to have to ask yourself when writing the statement. Here are a few that you should try and answer in your diversity statement:
- In your own terms, what do the terms “inclusivity” and “diversity” mean to you? What is the importance of equity as compared to equality?
- What is the importance of diversity based on the classes that you teach? More importantly, why is diversity so important?
- How do you approach classes in a way to ensure that your classes are inclusive and welcoming toward students from diverse backgrounds?
- Have you worked with underrepresented populations in the past? Or, do you work or provide any service to such populations? If you do, it’s best to describe them in detail.
- Do you take active steps to ensure that your research focuses on efforts to promote diversity? Is it focused on highlighting the basic understanding we have of diverse populations?
- Are you diverse in a way that it could translate into your work? For instance, do you come from an underrepresented minority?
- What is your plan for the future in furthering the cause of diversity and promoting equity?
Now that you know the basics, here is a sample statement that you can follow.
I am a first generation teacher and hail from an Italian-American family. While we were growing up, we didn’t have much to feed ourselves, but managed to get through sheer perseverance and determination.
I always took a deep interest in academics, and this soon turned into a passion. During my years at university (I moved to the States for further education), I saw just how important a role diversity played in welcoming minorities such as myself.
I was given equal opportunity and the language barrier in the beginning proved to be no issue because I always had access to a translator. I even authored a research paper in my second year of university, and this became my foundation for growth.
Today, I am happy to return and apply to this college as a faculty member. I hope to help other diverse students in their path to academic success and create a strong first impression championing the cause of diversity.
Tips for Writing Your Statement
Now that you have a basic idea of what a diversity statement looks like, it’s time to provide a few tips for writing your diversity statement. Here are a few simple tips that you should follow when writing your diversity statement.
Make it Personal
One of the best ways to personalize your diversity statement is to personalize it using your own experiences. Remember, no two people are going to have the same experience when it comes to managing diversity. There’s no reason to be afraid to share your own encounter with diversity in different walks of life.
It’s important that you describe your experiences in a way that it can be understood by an average person as well. More importantly, it is important that you avoid describing mental health problems, as those would just make it seem that you are not adequate enough for handling the requirements of the job.
Highlight Specific Experiences
Another important thing that you need to do is highlight specific experiences. It is important that you don’t add statements that are vague or not specific about the topic at hand. Remember, you are telling a story, so make sure that you keep it as specific as possible.
Statements that are generally vague do not provide much clarity and should be omitted.
Review Your Work
Another thing that you need to do is review your diversity statement. If you have a fellow faculty member who has written a diversity statement before, you might want to get in touch with them and then get your statement reviewed.
These are just a few things that you should know about writing your diversity statement. Make sure you check it multiple times before you submit it.