So, my classmates and I were given a mission: create a diversity statement, and if we needed some help doing that, there were several resources to get us started. One of the things that stuck with me about the readings was the emphasis on the difficult conversations that inevitably arise in learning environments where many diverse backgrounds are represented. It was something that stood in stark contrast to the often celebratory tone with which diversity is discussed in the public sphere (“diversity is good!” “we want a diverse incoming class!” “as part of our strategic planning initiative, we’re hiring a diversity coordinator/liaison/officer!”). Increasing diversity in formerly homogenous environments is certainly a good thing, but I can’t help but think of the underlying issues that are bound to lurk beneath the surface of these gestures of goodwill, especially with regards to the feelings of individuals, which are much more difficult to navigate than an institutional stance. Fortunately, our readings brought this issue to the fore with the introduction of implicit bias into the discourse. I thought long and hard about how to send the most inclusive, empathetic, and transparent message I possibly could in my diversity statement while fulfilling a few implicitly stated criteria as per the Georgetown Teaching Commons site (demonstrating my “commitment to diversity” in my past, present, and future as a faculty member). However, when I found myself unable to do both without having an impersonal statement that was several pages long, I decided to speak my truth as it relates to diversity with as much clarity and precision as I could muster. Here is the result.

diversity_3.png

 

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