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Black History Month Essay Contest 2022: Results

March 2nd 2022

The Center for Poverty and Inequality Research is pleased to announce the results of its inaugural Black History Month Essay Contest.

The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at UC Davis.

Entrants were asked to submit essays in response to the question ‘How Can We Reduce Racial and Economic Inequality in our Society?’

The winner is Mia Kirsten Santos, an undergraduate student majoring in sociology, with an emphasis in social services. Congratulations, Mia!

Mia’s winning essay appeared as a guest commentary at on February 24th, 2022.

The contest was judged by CPIR directors in collaboration with members of the center’s communications committee and senior writer.

We received a number of exceptional essays, all of which offered interesting and insightful perspectives on this topic. After careful consideration, we selected a winner, plus two entries worthy of honorable mention.

First prize was $500, plus the opportunity to work with CPIR Senior Writer Ben Hinshaw to prepare the essay for potential placement as an op-ed.


Mia Kirsten Santos

Mia is an undergraduate student majoring in sociology, with an emphasis in social services. Her winning essay focuses on the importance of centering Black women’s voices.

Read Mia’s winning essay at CalMatters here:

To Reduce Inequality in California, Listen to Black Women




Honorable Mentions

Indira D’Souza

Indira is an undergraduate student majoring in global disease biology. Her essay focused on the importance of voting rights.

Kevin Liu

Kevin is an undergraduate student majoring in managerial economics. His essay was titled ‘Racism and Economic Inequality: A Paradox Plaguing the American People’.


Congratulations to Mia, as well as to Indira and Kevin!

Thank you to all the students who submitted such thoughtful and thought-provoking essays, and to Gary Reed, commentary editor at CalMatters, for his support.