Black History Month Essay Contest 2024

January 9th, 2024

The Center for Poverty and Inequality Research is pleased to announce its third annual Black History Month Essay Contest.

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


How Can We Reduce Racial and Economic Inequality in California?



PLUS editorial input from CPIR senior writer, who will attempt to secure publication of the winning essay as an op-ed in a news outlet. If op-ed publication should prove unviable, the essay will appear as a feature on the CPIR website and be promoted widely by the Center.

Essay Criteria

  • Essays (600-800 words) should explore and offer answers to the question ‘How Can We Reduce Racial and Economic Inequality in California?’.
  • Entrants may draw on published research in fields such as economics, sociology, psychology, history, education, or any other relevant discipline. They may also, if they wish, draw on personal experience.
  • Submissions must be original, unpublished work that reflect the student’s individual voice and perspective.
  • Essays should be written in the style of an op-ed and need not include formal citations. Embedding links to relevant resources is encouraged.
  • Guidelines for writing op-eds can be found here.
  • Previous winners can be found here and here.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • Word count: 600-800 words
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students at UC Davis.
  • Essays should be original, and written entirely by the applicant.
  • Applicants may only submit one essay for consideration.
  • Essays should be submitted as PDF files, formatted as follows: 12-point Times New Roman or similar font; double-spaced; author’s full name, student number and email address in the header; pages numbered.
  • Any questions related to the competition should be sent by email to CPIR Center Manager Jessica Harold at


February 4th, 2024

Submissions are now closed. To see the results, click here.