Diversity At A Very Young Age Essay

Diversity At A Very Young Age Essay

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I came to understand diversity at a very young age as I learned to navigate through multicultural, multilingual social terrains as a Korean-American lesbian in the United States and South Korea. The social consequences of racism, sexism, and homophobia greatly impacted my life; for excelling in athletics, being an assertive young woman, and not fitting into traditional gender roles and norms, I have been targeted by racially charged, sexist, and homophobic verbal and physical threats from strangers, peers, in classrooms, and on social media. I lacked role models to show me how to persevere when faced with such adversities, but decided to never let these negative experiences define who I ought to be. Instead, I found my determination through education that provided me the tools to empirically investigate and understand my own social location and experiences. Furthermore, having the opportunities to contribute meaningfully to the discussion of diversity, tolerance, and inequality motivated me to pursue an academic career. As a sociologist in training who aspires to teach at a major research university upon obtaining my Ph.D., I am motivated now, more than ever, to become a role model and provide an empowering space for marginalized communities in academia and the larger society.
My experiences, both inside and outside academia, inspire me to pursue an academic career devoted to understanding individuals’ multifaceted identities in the context of diversity promotion and inclusion. I use my sociological training to critically examine how racial, gender, and sexual inequality and identity politics in the larger social structure shape the ways in which individuals understand their own social locations (i.e. as a racial minority, immigr...


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...ination, diversity, and equality. In doing so, I invite my students to make connections among their own lived experiences, course materials, and the larger public discourse around issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality. These critical pedagogical techniques allow me to employ, emphasize, and help legitimize students lived experiences as learning and teaching tools. Further, these mentoring and teaching experiences allow me to better understand the challenges we must overcome in order to increase diversity in academia. Students of diversity need understanding and empathetic mentors who share their experiences and will guide their research, which is the role I want to fill. I intend to further motivate them not only to actively engage in discussion of diversity, but also pursue diversity as a tangible social and personal goal by becoming a role model for others.

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