Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

In the Fall of 2013, during my junior year as an undergraduate, I took Cross-Cultural Communication, a course offered by sociolinguistics professor Deborah Tannen. It taught me about conflicts arising from how people of different backgrounds are socialized to interact with others. I learned that the extent to which these ‘social cues’ become adopted as norms can correlate with many factors, including each interlocutor’s nationality, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, and, of course, gender. The course gave me, among other things, the opportunity to analyze case studies illustrating the behavioral double-standards to which women are held in both casual and corporate settings.
Four years later, in October 2017, 87 women accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, and the #MeToo movement went mainstream. I realized that I needed to do something about the rampant sexual harassment and misogyny. Regrettably, by 2017 I had somehow forgotten how pervasive sexism was. This forgetfulness, a product of my own sexism, had been part of the problem leading up to this moment. Now I needed to figure out a way to be part of the solution.
In the Fall of 2019, I will pursue an M.S. in Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Gender Studies at NYU. These studies will allow me to explore ways to awaken societies worldwide to the exigency of treating women and sexual minorities equally. I also plan to engage in research relating to the interests of marginalized social groups in fragile states, augmenting my knowledge of obstacles to achieving equitable outcomes for all, especially for poor women. This cause is near and dear to me as the product of a low-income household, raised by my single mother -- a resilient, imperturbable woman of color. Post-graduation, I plan on promoting human rights abuse awareness at Amnesty International in New York, and eventually become a Research Policy Advisor with a specialty in sexual and gender-based violence in the Global South.

Daniel from Michigan
New York University