Sponsored by the Associated Students of Chemeketa

The intention of the contest is to provide an opportunity for students to define diversity as seen through their own perspective. At times it might feel that the definition of diversity is limited to cultural and racial diversity, but while these two areas are a great and valuable part of the overall representation of diversity, they do not represent a greater view of diversity.

Many definitions of diversity describe it as the enrichment of life and knowledge through the sharing of individual experiences, ideas, and perspectives. We all have the privilege of viewing the world around us in distinctive ways, we are all unique, and thus we are all able to contribute important elements to this idea of diversity. We all have traveled different journeys to get to where we are today and it was the experience of that journey that makes us who we are; our journey is what makes us diverse.

This poetry contest is an opportunity for students to share these unique experiences with the rest of the student body. This is an opportunity to allow other students to feel how you feel, to experience what you have experienced, and for a brief period of time allow others to view the world through your eyes.

Here are the winners from the 2010 contest.


Diversity in a Box of Crayons

Ashanti "RISIE" Hakeem

Taking the lid off
The world looking at the colors
Within the box.

By our favorite possessive color
We are possessed.
But without other colors,
We would be what would not seem unique.
As the moon would not be so…
Visually enchanting with it’s glowing uniqueness,
Only without the morning eye
Of the sky.

Some crayons MayBe broken
From homes and lifestyles
Like the discarded unframed white crayon
Speckled with shavings of black wax
It stands out like a starchy wedding dress
Splattered with nature’s ink.
The crayon becomes another
Thrown in the box with the other
Abused, used, and broken crayons.
All the crayons seem different,
But on a sheet of paper
Their blood bleeds and smears
The same.


Each one of us
Has a unique personality,
But we all identify by color.
The colors of crayons together…
And together in an otherwise
Bland Sky,
We make Rainbows.

On the established railed tracks of life
We are
We are color,
We are the rainbow people.

I may have came as
Or that of a higher Power
Without a color of name
I still bleed the same
Under the same sun
Which into existence
We all came.

The sun still shines
And the moon still glows.
Their revelations become

Your color may be different than mine
But by distances we become
A group of people.
A diverse people,
A group,
A population,
The monument of
Homo Sapiens…

We are all,
Without “you,”
Am no Homo Sapien
I don’t belong to a population
A population of diverse people,
Because without You
I just am……..

We become like…
A broken strain from you and me,
We are the discarded 1 cent pennies
Left from 99 cents.
When we all come together,
Our copper flakes make value
Value of intricately woven and symbolic green faces.
And that value shines brighter than a dollar
With glare like rusty sunlight,
With blotches of shiny silver
Scratching vision with blindness
Like eyes licking lightning.

Without you
I just am…..

I just am the murderous blood of nature
On the crime scene of a white wedding dress
Diversity is what makes Us
The poke-a-dotted dress.



Jessi Sabrowski

Beautiful curves,
And soft, silky, skin.
Kind and open face,
With bright eyes within.

All of the visible surface,
Serves to conceal and hide.
The fiery, energetic spirit
That dwells inside.

The spirit is veiled,
Kept safe from those
Who fail to understand.

That a woman is not inferior,
For she is the womb of a man.

She is not the harbinger of
The original Sin revisited,
For she fought death
So that she can
Carry the seed
Of life within.

All who underestimate her
Do so at risk to themselves.

For women shall never be
Contented with just sitting,
Gathering dust on shelves.

We are nurturers,
For as life grows,
It must be cared for.

We are not cooks and chefs,

For the living always has
A need for sustenance.

We are the keepers
Of the home,
For all things need
A place of safety.

We are warriors,
For all children
Need protecting.

All of our lives,
We are told,
That we must be
This or that.

For to be
Is to risk
From Society.

A society that
Would not exist
If its adherents
Were never born.


What it is Like

Amanda Yancey

What is it like?
It's inescapable,
Claustrophobic even,
You can run all you want,
Try to leave it behind you,
Somewhere far away,
Where you think it can't hurt you,
Drown it with drugs,
Pretend it's not there,
But this only makes it madder,
It sinks it's fangs deep into your flesh,
Reminding you that you can't win,
Its venom surges through your body,
Blistering your veins and weakening your soul,
Your steps falter,
Knees buckle,
A cry works its way out your throat so that you can be heard,
Saved maybe?
But it does no good,
They stare at you helplessly,
Like bystanders looking through prison bars,
As you squirm and shudder,
Try to shake off the spasms,
That ripple across your body,
Possessed by this invisible devil,
Known as pain,
And that my dear friend is what it is like.