Diversity is an important characteristic in any academic setting, one that serves as a great asset to the learning experience and the ability to contribute knowledge and ideas sourced from the unique perspectives that come alongside a diverse background. As an ethnic minority of both Puerto Rican and Mexican descent, I believe that there is a great deal that my own diverse background can contribute to the class. For one, the insight I have garnered into issues of social justice and race relations in this country is very much the product of my ethnic background.
Although having been born in California, being raised in rural Colorado had allowed me to experience a great deal of racism and racial discrimination firsthand, allowing me a unique perspective into the issues and their prevalence. Furthermore, as an older, “non-traditional” student that had graduated from college seven years ago, the diversity in my life experiences and the conditions that had led me back into the fulfillment of my academic career can provide the class with very important and educational tools.
Among the most noteworthy enhancements to the academic experience that diversity can accomplish are preparation for working in a diverse and multicultural society, an enhancement of creative thinking and self-awareness, and the promotion of positive social development. Bringing the products of my unique experiences with me as an individual of a diverse background into the class will help ensure that a different perspective is offered and available for the enhancement of my peers’ experience.
Adding depth and breadth to the discussions wherein elements of diversity are relevant to some degree is wherein my own background will provide context and realism that would otherwise be impossible to bring into the discussion. A diverse student body accomplishes that which a homogenous student body never could, particularly in a class studying the very laws and elements of a criminal justice system that affect those of different demographical traits so very differently in our modern society.