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Best Practices: Writing a Diversity Statement

Applying for a faculty position that may determine your career is no doubt a serious investment of time and all components of your application should reflect who you are as a professional. Particularly, applicants should respond to requests for diversity statements and should respond with thoughtful reflection, investing as much time in the preparation of their diversity statement as they do with other components of their application (Schmaling, Trevino, Lind, Blume, & Baker, 2015).

Best practices for writing these statements include:

  1. Your diversity statement should be focused on your teaching, research and service/outreach as it relates to diversity and the university's and/or department's mission as it relates to diversity and inclusion (Flaherty, 2018).
  2. This is not a chance for you to talk about yourself, it is likely that you have already discussed that in your personal statement, letter of interest or cover letter. Your diversity statement is a chance for you to contextualizing how these characteristics uniquely advantage your teaching, research, and service (Schmaling et al, 2015).
  3. It is important to give your diversity statement a title. Some researchers also suggest that your statement should be about 20 -75 words, using concise statements with positive words such as inclusive, celebrate, commitment, and experience (Kelly, 2018).
  4. Be sure to tie your personal/professional mission to your diversity statement, be specific and give concrete examples of work you have done or plan to do (Golash-Boza, 2016).

Writing a diversity statement is important because your prospective employer is then able to recruit a diverse faculty, now has an idea as you how you will contribute, how the institution will better serve its increasingly diverse student population, and how your presence, culturally unique perspectives and experiences will benefit students and the institution (Schmaling et al, 2015; University of Delaware Advanced Institute, 2019).

References

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