ABOUT THE MILLENNIUM FELLOWSHIP - CLASS OF 2021
United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. In 2021, over 25,000 young leaders on 2,000+ campuses across 153 nations applied to join the Class of 2021. 136 campuses worldwide (just 6%) were selected to host the 2,000+ Millennium Fellows. The Class of 2021 is bold, innovative, and inclusive.
UNITED NATIONS ACADEMIC IMPACT AND MCN PROUDLY PRESENT KUSHAGR NIGAM, A MILLENNIUM FELLOW FOR THE CLASS OF 2021.
University College London | London, United Kingdom | Advancing SDG 10 & UNAI 7
" “Driven by a desire to reduce the gaps in marginalized communities’ access to justice, I’m excited to work with the Millennium Fellowship this semester as it’ll take my passion for community uplift to a scale beyond my past pursuits. By developing skills and a community driven to advance the UN’s SDG’s, I believe that the Fellowship will help translate those critical elements, coupled with passion, into actionable and powerful solutions for disenfranchised populations in urban communities.” "
Millennium Fellowship Project: Bridging the Gap
Recognizing the disconnect between representatives and underserved communities, ‘Bridging the Gap’ has sought to eliminate that interruption of the democratic process through a multi-stage approach that prioritizes the inputs of constituents from traditionally marginalized communities.
We began by modernizing current civic participation models, adapting traditionally successful schemes to target and accommodate for the needs of the vulnerable populations we heard from. During our seminars with constituents we invited questions and concerns about issues both big and small, from the abstract or more general concerns like inaccessible remedies for miscarriages of justice to the more practical and smaller scale issues, like creating more sustainable connections between established public aid organisations on issues ranging from mental health to legal advice.
And having this raw constituent data and feedback, offering a more cohesive stakeholder narrative by virtue of the increased accessibility and engagement from the community as compared to more traditional outreach initiatives, gave us the chance to give representatives insights into communities that weren’t having their issues prioritized in policy.
But in an effort to improve accessibility, knowing that the more accessible our information and policy briefings were, the more effective representatives could be. And so in tying together and creating a cohesive channel of communication between constituents, we introduced research teams composed of students and academics in the relevant field. In applying expertise derived through experience, and leading academic research, teams from universities around London were able to offer a two-part solution for representatives: analyzed stakeholder issues for accessible presentation, and innovative and intuitive policy solutions for representatives to bring forward for wider consideration.
And now, having had coordinated constituents and academia, ‘Bridging the Gap’ is currently working on the final element of the communication chain, enabling representatives and those involved in policy-making to work towards implementing policy that prioritizes and further empowers the marginalized.
Using lobbying techniques and focusing on both individual MP’s and interest groups where MP’s operate, we publish and voice the concerns and solutions we’ve come across in our work. And further, we’ve been working on creating an accessible and regular briefing that policy-makers may reference following regular constituency meetings, with the added benefit of targeting current issues.
About the Millennium Fellow
Kushagr Nigam is an innovative and motivated second-year law student at the University College London with interests in the intersection of economics, political science, and law.
Through several years of experience working in the public interest sphere, from civil justice nonprofits to government aid agencies, he’s fostered a passion for goal-driven advocacy and policy-making. Committed to overcoming social issues pertaining to access to justice and socioeconomic divides, he hopes to pursue a career in public interest international law or legal academia.