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United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship.  In the three months the application was open in 2019, over 7,000 young leaders applied to join the Class of 2019 on 1,209 campuses across 135 nations.  69 campuses worldwide (just 6%) were selected to host the 805 Millennium Fellows. 

During the Millennium Fellowship, Millennium Fellows' dedicated 96,705 hours and their 422 unique projects positively impacted the lives of 564,366 people worldwide.



Furman University | South Carolina, United States | Advancing SDG 11 & UNAI 9


" I am so excited to have a community of students to work and share with at my university and world-wide through the Millennium Fellowship!

My project is important to me because it gives voice to a group of people who have had a difficult time being heard. It is research that has not been done previously in either region. It will give great insight to both industries about how they can improve the sustainability of their systems to be more inclusive and accountable. I am so excited to create something for such a real and relevant cause. "

Millennium Fellowship Project: A Sustainable Comparative Analysis of the Tourism Industry's Effect on Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC

Perceived place-identity impacts of the tourism industry on local community are identified and examined using a mixed-qualitative method study in the cases of Asheville, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina. There are organizations and individuals in both Asheville and Greenville advocating for an expansion of the urban tourism, and others advocating to keep the economies and consumption local. Asheville’s Tourism Development Agency faced more resistance from locals than Greenville given the quantity of resources the agencies have. In 2018, Asheville’s Tourism Development Agency controlled $6.4 million dollars in tax revenue. Greenville’s Tourism Development Agency is much smaller and handles less revenue. Despite resistance in Asheville, leading companies in the tourism industry have persisted in development. Actor-Network Theory and a place-identity framework were applied to the existing systems. The analysis shows that there is misalignment in the sense-of-place conveyed by the actors in the system including the tourists, residents, local government, and tourism professionals in both cities. Additionally, urban tourism has increased the level of social inequality, displacement of locals, discrimination in political voice, and land use disputes. Actor-Network theory brings light to the interactions between human and non-human actors within the system to gauge the equality of the interactions. In the case of Asheville, the state government regulates many of the other actors. The purpose of this study is to define how sustainable the tourism system in each city is by determining who benefits from tourism and who is unhappy with the effects tourism has had on the place-identity of the city. The tourism industries in Asheville and Greenville both must slow the rate of development to allow for a more sustainable outcome that is promoted by all actors, specifically the community members.

About the Millennium Fellow

Samantha Bernacki is a senior at Furman University studying Sustainability Science. She cares deeply about sustainability and advocating for groups in need of a voice. On campus she is involved with EcoReps, UCapture, Bartram Society, the Furman Farm, and the Climate Action Group. After graduation she plans to continue her education with a Community Development Masters Degree.

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