Apply today to serve on The Olympian's Diversity Panel

South Sound residents who are interested in serving a year-long term on The Olympian's Diversity Panel are encouraged to send in a self-nomination by 5 p.m. today.

Panelists reflect the richness and complexity of the South Sound community.

Through their weekly columns that appear on this page on Fridays, Diversity Panel members help educate South Sound residents on the breadth of diversity — the steps toward progress and the barriers to a united community.

Column writing is the primary duty of Diversity Panel members. Their columns explore the diverse aspects of community life in South Sound. Panelists have written about everything from cultural holidays to specific legislative proposals. Members select their own topics and take criticism and praise for what they write.

Is that something that interests you?

Members of the Diversity Panel sign up for a one-year commitment. We hope to appoint five or six Diversity Panel positions for the 2011 term.

The panel should reflect a cross-section of this community. Yes, cultural diversity, ethnic diversity and physical ability are important. Those are voices that need to be heard in our changing community. The Diversity Panel should span generations and reflect the rich working environment of South Sound.

The application process consists of two sections: a letter of self-nomination and a 600-word sample column.

In the letter of application tell us about yourself, why you are interested in serving and what you feel you could add to the Diversity Panel. Please include information about your cultural and biographical background.

The column should be a representative sample of what you propose to write about during the coming year. Back up your opinion with solid reporting.

Send the self-nomination and sample column to news@theolympian.com. The fax number is 360-357-0202, and applications can be dropped off at The Olympian’s office at 111 Bethel St. in Olympia.

We are eager to hear from you by today’s 5 p.m. deadline.