The Student Journal of Diversity and Respect
Download the Harvard study HERE.
According to a recent study conducted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the nation’s most highly competitive colleges want students with community involvement that is rich in diversity and service.
Universities today consider diversity a core strength, and students who understand the intricacies of a multicultural community are at a distinct advantage for admissions and collegiate success. The goal of the Diversity Leadership Project is to prepare the next generation of teens to serve as campus leaders. These as they reach college age, these students will be well-equipped to share their awareness of social justice issues and help others in their diverse community grow and heal.
What is the Diversity Leadership Project?
From the Indian Removal Act of 1830 through the Civil Rights Movement and still today, our local area has unique history and experiences related to issues surrounding race and reconciliation. We understand the history of Franklin, Williamson County and Middle Tennessee is not always easy to digest. But it is important for the next generation to learn about this history, and help others understand the role diversity plays in a community.
The Diversity Leadership Project gives Williamson County teens the opportunity to explore diversity in their community, both past and present. As a part of this program, you will gain the tools necessary to build powerful alliances with your peers, to communicate about tough social issues, and to tackle these problems together.
Our student bloggers not only write for the blog, but learn ways to communicate, mediate, and lead. In addition, students who participate can use the project as an opportunity for self-growth, and their involvement sets them apart from their peers when applying for competitive colleges.
This project allows students to gain not only an understanding of their community, but their real-world research and writing experience also pays dividends when crafting their admissions essays, helping them secure a spot at a great school or land an elusive scholarship opportunity.
Why participate in the Diversity Leadership Project?
- Broaden your horizons through experiential learning opportunities and interacting with people from diverse communities
- Develop a better understanding of your own unique cultural background and cultural filters
- Gain a deeper understanding of other cultural norms, habits and beliefs that may differ from your own worldview
- Develop a greater understanding of and empathy for social justice issues and how bias and oppression can affect different populations
- Begin a life-long journey of striving towards “cultural competency” for your own life
How can participation in Diversity Leadership Project help me get into a competitive college and win scholarships?
A Game-Changer in College Admissions
A recent study conducted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education made four recommendations about the type of community involvement that most interests admissions counselors and scholarship review panels. Diversity Leadership Project meets all four of these recommendations in the following ways:
Recommendation #1: Meaningful, Sustained Community Service
Involvement in this project requires dedication, and the desire to dive deep into local history to tell stories others are not telling. Some of these stories are uncomfortable, to be sure. Others are forgotten, or have never before been told. By sharing these stories of those who lived before, you can instill a sense of hope, strength and resolve in your community today.
Recommendation #2: Collective Action that Takes on Community Challenges
Having a desire to learn more about your community and its history is at the heart of this program, but it pays dividends because it allows us to discover ways our history continues to affect our lives today. This program offers students the opportunity to collaborate with civic leaders (as well as historians, researchers and writers) to help bring attention to these ongoing issues, mitigate their impact and build a brighter future together.
Recommendation #3: Authentic, Meaningful Experiences with Diversity
Reconciliation programs are centered on diversity, and this program is no different. You may write about Native Americans, make a video about immigrants or even lead a Ted-style talk about Christian-Muslim relations in Middle Tennessee.
Recommendation #4: Service that Develops Gratitude and a Sense of Responsibility for the Future
Uncomfortable, forgotten or simply untold history is still important history, especially when that history continues to have an effect on people living today. Through this program, you will learn to better understand your own role as a member of any community you’re a part of, and the integral role played by every member in a community.
How can I get involved in the Diversity Leadership Project?
Your commitment to the Diversity Leadership Project will demonstrate your interest in diversity, inclusion, and social justice, as well as a high level of concern for others and your community as a whole. Being engaged in your community and contributing to these conversations help your peers and neighbors understand the importance of compassion and understanding, and encourage curiosity instead of judgement in a diverse community. In addition, your participation in this project could be the thing that sets you apart from other students with similar – or even better – test scores or other academic achievements.