Language as a Means of Conflict Resolution

Languages make us feel an affinity towards one another. We then have common grounds to which we can build foundations for peaceful future relationships. My dream is to work in diplomacy. I will start with the state department and then I hope to make my way into being a career diplomat working with areas like Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. Having lived in China, I feel that US China relations are increasingly important not just to national security but to fair and balanced understanding of trade. After gaining the relevant experience that the masters programs I have looked into will give. I will work for the Foreign Service branch of the US Department of State or the Central Intelligence agency working as an analyst. To be a career public servant with the State Department would make optimum use of my foreign language skills and cultural competencies. Perhaps after fifteen years I can seek to become US ambassador to the People’s Republic of China using my Mandarin Chinese skills to connect deeper and remove barriers. These dreams were cultivated during my childhood and I have strived to achieve them.

Poverty is a trap that one can be released from only through education. I was born in the volatile Detroit of the 1980s to a single mother and a father I never knew. The lure of drugs was too great for my mother and she was in and out of the lives of my siblings and I. It was a life of sorrow and disappointment. I was raised by my aunt and Uncle they instilled in me that education was the best way to escape the tragic cycle of poverty. My aunt, who became my adopted mother pulled my siblings and I out of the abysmal overcrowded Detroit Public schools and homeschooled us. This is when my love of languages and international relations began. We all learned a different foreign language.  When my older sister joined the Air Force and was stationed in Japan it was the first time anyone in my family had been out of the country.  

Traveling the world and learning about its cultures and demystifying its languages is my life’s passion. As an undergraduate student at Wayne State University I was awarded a scholarship by the Center of Academic Excellence in National Security and Intelligence Studies to conduct field research in South Africa in 2008. In 2010 I went China, being awarded an undergraduate research grant to study at Fudan University in Shanghai. That same year I received the competitive Confucius Institute Scholarship to study Chinese for a year at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China.  Leadership, responsibilities and research are at the forefront of all my endeavors. Having gleaned diplomatic skills as a Wayne State University presidential ambassador and learned the inner workings of a bureaucracy as a member of the WSU Student Senate diplomacy comes natural. The US has a central role in shaping how globalization impacts us all.

In many instances people have been elated when I ask a question in Chinese or say hello in Arabic or greet them in Russian. Diplomacy is about maintaining relations. In Chinese the concept of maintaining relations is called Guanxi and it is important in all cultures to better serve one another. Studying languages is my passion and one of my professors once told me I collect languages like stray puppies. It stems from my quest to deeply understand, and also be understood.

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