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Black History Month Essay Contest 2024: Results

March 1st 2024

The Center for Poverty and Inequality Research is pleased to announce the results of its 2024 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 California?’

The winner is Jackson Huston, an undergraduate student majoring in history and African and African-American Studies. Congratulations, Jackson!

Jackson’s winning essay appeared as a guest commentary at on February 29th, 2024.

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.

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.


Jackson Huston














Jackson is an undergraduate student majoring in history and African and African-American studies at UC Davis. His winning essay explores the repercussions for Black Californians of a Supreme Court case about homelessness.

Read Jackson’s winning essay at CalMatters here:

Supreme Court homelessness case holds extra significance for Black Californians

Honorable Mentions

Rebekka Twine, ‘A Strength-Based Approach to Lifting Up Black Communities in California’

Anthony Zammikiel, ‘How Can We Reduce Racial & Economic Inequality In California? Reassess and Rethink Our Prison Systems’


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