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This Frequently Asked Questions section is meant to help campus affiliates, media, and other interested parties understand the Center’s organization and mission.

What kind of center is the Asian American Center?

The Asian American Center is one of the academic and community engagement centers in the Office of the Provost at UNC Chapel Hill. Similar centers range from the Ackland Art Museum to the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.

What is the difference between a center and a department?

Departments offer courses and house majors/minors; they hire and house faculty. Centers across the campus vary, but a lot of them focus more on research and programming. They support faculty, students, and staff with this type of work and faculty may be affiliated with Centers (the Asian American Center has a faculty director, Dr. Heidi Kim).

Does the AAC have a building?

Currently, the Center occupies a small building on Cameron Avenue. However, large AAC events will take place at other venues. Details will always be included in event advertising.

Is the building open to the public?

We hold scheduled drop-ins, conversational hours, and small events in the space.

How is the Asian American Center different from the Carolina Asia Center?

The Carolina Asia Center is part of the global centers in the College of Arts & Sciences. Their work focuses on Asia and transnational Asian issues, whereas ours focuses on the Asian American community in the U.S. with an explicit focus on community engagement as well as academic engagement. However, we certainly do collaborate and appreciate each others’ missions.

Is the AAC a student center?

As it is in the Office of the Provost, it is part of the University’s academic administration and is separate from Student Life and entities such as the Carolina Union. However, students are very important to the AAC, and we support students via the council composed of Asian American/Asian-interest student organizations. Students were key to the formation of the AAC through the advocacy of the Asian American Center Campaign team, which won a university Diversity and Inclusion prize for their efforts.

How can someone join?

There is no club or membership aspect! Like other similar centers, it is meant for everyone. While some events may be designed for certain audiences or UNC affiliates, the AAC’s programming is generally open.