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Afro-American Studies, Personal Statement Example

Pages: 1

Words: 677

Personal Statement

As I consider my reasons for pursuing graduate work in Afro-American studies, I comprehend that this focus is an essential element in the learning and career trajectory I have set for myself, as well as expressive of my innate interests.  There is as well the highly significant factor of the W. E. B. Du Bois program at the University of Massachusetts itself; its exemplary standing and courses represent to me real achievement, and this is the level to which I wish to rise.  Learning here, I am convinced, will provide me with the specific study in the subject matter I require if I am to move forward in the sphere of human rights, both academically and professionally.  There can be no real understanding of human rights without a full knowledge of social justice issues.  As the Du Bois program emphasizes, and in keeping with its namesake’s ideologies, Afro-American history encompasses all such issues in cultural and experiential terms.  It is then a grounding vital for the expansive and informed approach to human rights I seek to exercise in my life and work.

Perhaps ironically, it is the lack of actual experience in Afro-American studies that so compels me to undertake the program.  My education and career thus far have provided me with some understanding of the field.  Human rights is the foundation of my work, so it is inevitable that the subject has played a role in various stages of my course thus far.  My LLM is in Intercultural Human Rights, as my past studies have engaged in the pertinent subjects of civil and political rights, the InterAmerican system, and the African system.  These and others have given me a grounding, yet I am aware that this is a foundation I must build upon.  In my estimation, Afro-American studies offer an ideal “lens” through which to understand the many and complex issues regarding the evolution of social justice.  This, in plain terms, is what I require.

My educational needs notwithstanding, I can confidently assert that my background is strong and that my experiences would make an assistantship desirable for both myself and the school.  Having taken my LLM at the St. Thomas University School of Law, I fully comprehend the presence of legal realities in social justice concerns.  Then, my entire history as an international student has consistently gone to an awareness of such concerns.  I have seen and learned how gender and language issues, for example, must play critical parts in the vast field of human rights, as my personal experiences in different societies and cultures has given me a valuable perspective.  On a more pragmatic level, five years as a Manager of Legal Affairs in the private school sector, as well as years of teaching, have broadened my knowledge base regarding the innate interactions creating what we view as culture itself.  I have, in brief, lived and worked the subject of social justice as I have studied it, and I believe myself fully enabled to move forward in this manner.

Lastly, and in regard to career plans, I can know one thing only: my PhD is essential for me to advance in the field, even as I acknowledge that the precise direction of that advance is open to possibilities.  It is clear to me that working for and in human rights, and for the promotion of social justice, is my calling.  I foresee being actively committed to organization furthering these ambitions, even as cannot yet know in what capacity I will serve.  This, I feel, must evolve as my learning and participation evolve.  It is in fact necessary that I be open in this way, for any specific career agenda now would, I think, disrespect the subject itself.  It has much to reveal to me, and this will guide me in the future.  What I may know now is that my commitment is unvarying, that the the field of human rights is where I must be, and that earning my PhD in Afro-American studies is a vital component of this course I am so eagerly set upon.

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