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Diversity Statement help

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Okay, so I know the diversity statement is not as important as the SOP, but my SOPs are written and I would like to make the rest of my application as good as possible. I have a specific topic to talk about for my diversity statement, but I was wondering if anyone had ideas about how to focus this essay, and how personal it should be. The instructions say to talk about "how you may contribute to the diversification of the Graduate School."

My topic mostly concerns my own actions & a series of educational/work experiences, but it is really inseparable from my background & sense of identity. I don't think I can connect it to my research interests. It is also not about overcoming obstacles. Ultimately, it is about a series of accomplishments that I am genuinely proud of, but I know if I make that the thrust of my essay it will come off as bragging.

I wrote on the same topic for the UM Personal Statement, which asks for "the journey that led you to apply to graduate school." This was much easier for me, as I was able to focus the essay on developing a passion for independent inquiry, and how these skills helped me once I started doing research in my field of study. That essay really wouldn't fit this question, though. At the same time writing about diversity for the sake of diversity seems both vague, and as though it could easily become too personal.

So, does anyone have any ideas on how to focus a diversity statement which seems to have no purpose other than to state that you are diverse? What angle did you use in approaching your own diversity statements? How personal should it be, or what angle can I take to avoid making it more personal than I want it to be?

This isn't as tough as my SOPs were, but I shouldn't have assumed it would be easy! Thanks in advance for any advice!

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I made my diversity statement very personal. I talked about the way I grew up, the way we did farming back home (I am an international student), how I picked up multiple languages growing up in a multi-ethnic society, and the struggles I went through to arrive up to this point. Because I am applying to plant science and I grew up in a farming society, I mentioned (and gave examples of) how hard it is to be a farmer in my country. I also wrote that with the degree from here, I could certainly contribute back to societies like mine where growing food is tremendously difficult. The last paragraph was something along the line of 'I am hopeful that I can add to the diversity of ABC university'.

So you see, it was pretty personal. I do not know if this was the right way to write it, but I thought that giving the adcomms something very different could help me. Like you said, I also don't think diversity statement will carry as much weight as the SoP. Still, I was honest with my writing, and worked hard on it.

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