What Is a Diversity Statement?
While some institutions may ask you to address the topic of diversity in your cover letter, requests for diversity statements are becoming increasingly common. A diversity statement is generally a one or two page document that describes how your past, present, and future work will help promote diversity within the institution. A diversity statement is not simply a personal essay, but a declaration of how your teaching, scholarship, and service contribute to creating a more inclusive environment.
Writing a Diversity Statement
Questions to Consider:
- What types of experiences or characteristics make you a diverse candidate or prove that you understand the obstacles faced by underrepresented groups?
- What concrete actions have you taken (or will you take) to promote diversity? Do you design your syllabi with diversity in mind? Have you mentored students from underrepresented backgrounds? Does your research address social inequalities?
- What new programs would you create to encourage diversity? How would you contribute to the institution’s existing models?
Reading the institution’s mission statement may help you understand what the institution’s definition of “diversity” is and what underrepresented populations they are particularly interested in attracting. Think about how your past, present, and future actions will contribute to these goals, and try to avoid repeating information from your teaching and research statements.
- “How to Write a Diversity Statement” from the Graduate Center’s Office of CP&PD
- Useful guidelines for understanding DEI and advice for job candidates from UC Santa Cruz
- “The Effective Diversity Statement” by Tanya Golash-Boza in Inside Higher Ed
- “Making Sense of the Diversity Statement” by Karen Kelsky in The Chronicle of Higher Education
- “Developing and Writing a Diversity Statement” by Sara L. Beck of Vanderbilt University
- Advice on diversity statements from the University of Notre Dame