A Place to Connect

When Abhishek Shankar arrived at Carolina as a first-year student in 2017, he quickly became involved in extracurricular activities like student government, research and volunteer work.

But as he immersed himself in campus activities, Shankar felt like something was missing. As an Asian American student, he was searching for a place where he could connect with other students like him.

“I was struggling, when I came to Carolina, to understand my own identity,” Shankar said.

Then, an opportunity to create a space he felt was missing presented itself, and Shankar took advantage of it and joined the campaign to establish a UNC-Chapel Hill Asian American Center on campus.

“Getting involved with this was super empowering for me because I really felt heard and supported,” said Shankar, an environmental health sciences major in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

In January, thanks to Shankar and his fellow Asian American Center Campaign committee members, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees approved plans for the center, with the expectation that the center would open in fall 2020.

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