The Campus Y has been the center for social justice at UNC-Chapel Hill for a century and a half. Indeed, since its establishment in 1860, the Y has grown into UNC’s largest and most vibrant student organization, with an estimated 2,000 student volunteers each year. The Y houses 30 student social justice organizations that focus on particular social and environmental justice issues in the areas of Community Inclusion, Education and Youth Development, Public Health, Global Issues, and Advocacy. With its unique leadership structure—students and staff working in tandem—the Y has provided leadership and professional skills development to thousands of Carolina students and alumni and shaped the character of the campus for generations.

Committee Categories:

A Drink for Tomorrow

A Drink For Tomorrow (ADFT) combats the global water crisis through awareness and direct action. At ADFT, we believe that access to clean, safe drinking water is a basic human right. Our public health projects are designed to provide a long-term, effective and community-driven outcome. At home we approach water from an interdisciplinary perspective, understanding that water touches every area of life like no other topic. We see water as a vital yet fragile resource–one that is inextricably linked to economic growth, political stability, and social equity around the world. It is our goal as an organization to creatively raise … Continued

Advocates for Carolina

We hope to inspire our peers and community members so that they may realize that our differences make us the same, and the challenges we face make us stronger. In the fall of 2012, four students — three of whom had experienced amputations — came together to form what would become UNC’s first organization for students who have a passion for disability advocacy work. Whether we know someone with a disability or have ever been impacted by one ourselves, disability means something different to all of us – For some, it is a part of their identity. For others, it … Continued


Advocates for Grassroots Development in Uganda (AGRADU) is a UNC student initiative aiming to support indigenous grassroots efforts at community building and economic development in Uganda. AGRADU helps to educate and to raise awareness about international development from a grassroots standpoint by giving students the opportunity to participate directly in such efforts! Through building and sustaining a relationship between Ugandan community-based organizations (CBOs) and UNC – Chapel Hill, AGRADU offers support with skills and resources via student interns and serves as a liaison for external funding and networking. The experiences of student interns will help to elevate the consciousness of … Continued

Art & Life

Art&Life envisions a world where visual art and art historical skills are accessible to a diversity of middle and high school youth in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. This program strives to eliminate the idea that museums and art are only a part of high culture and challenges students to think critically in an unfamiliar discipline. Specifically, Art&Life is an afterschool education program fully planned and taught by UNC students that empowers youth by challenging them to assess their own identities through art history education of western and non-western cultures. Students cultivate writing, public speaking, and analytical skills that promote creativity … Continued

Best Buddies

Best Buddies pairs UNC students with members of the Chapel Hill community who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Best Buddies mission is to facilitate and create lasting friendships between the college buddies and the community buddies, through regular group events (talent shows, UNC sporting events, movie screenings, etc.), but also through one-to-one meetings outside of large group events. Best Buddies recruits throughout the year on campus and is always looking for new college and associate buddies! College buddies  are actively matched with one of the 80 or so community buddies who take part in UNC Best Buddies; each pairing is based … Continued

Big Buddy

An affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Big Buddy pairs UNC students with “at risk” children ages 6-14 in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community to form one-on-one mentor relationships.  Each mentor acts as a friend and role model to a child in need of one, with the hope that the experience has positive and lasting impact on the lives of both the “big” and “little” alike. In 2003, UNC’s Big Buddy partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the oldest and largest youth mentoring organization in the country. We now work directly with the regional Big Brothers Big Sisters branch, Big Brothers … Continued

Build the Hill

Build The Hill’s (formerly known as Carolina Microfinance Initiative) mission is to alleviate poverty by promoting sustainable small business growth in Chapel Hill and the greater Triangle area. We provide lending and credit building services to financially disenfranchised local business owners and entrepreneurs who are unable to access traditional banks. Additionally, we strive to continually improve our services by keeping abreast of practical developments and innovations in the microfinance industry. Through building long-term relationships with our clients, our volunteers gain practical skills in professional networking and small business administration, while also gaining expertise in navigating the legal structures surrounding microfinance. … Continued

Carolina Advocating for Gender Equity (CAGE)

Carolina Advocates for Gender Equity rejects the gender binary as a social construct that often leads to harmful gender roles and gender-based violence and discrimination. We celebrate the spectrum of gender identity and gender expression. We make our community a welcoming, safe, and affirming place for all people to discuss and explore gender as an important part of self and identity. We discuss experiences, current events, and theory to challenge concepts of gender and its role on our campus and in our society. We seek to involve as many people in discussions of gender and create spaces for these discussions of … Continued

Carolina for Amani

Carolina for Amani is Chapel Hill’s branch of The Amani Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to build bridges between Kenyan and American communities, specifically by sponsoring The New Life Home Orphanages.  Amani Children’s Foundation is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization based out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and was founded in 2004. Through their partnership with the New Life Homes, Amani helps care for orphaned and HIV-positive children in six different locations across Kenya. Amani is the Swahili word for peace, as they seek to bring peace and a positive living and learning environment for the more than 2.2 million orphans in … Continued

Carolina Hunger Education and Activism Project

The Carolina Hunger Education and Activism Project (C.H.E.A.P.) is committed to combating both local and global hunger by engaging students in education, activism and awareness. What We Do: C.H.E.A.P gives students the opportunity to learn about the many faces of hunger through campus and community events and works to expose others to the necessity and affordability of ending world hunger within our lifetime. As a large part of these efforts, every year we package meals that are distributed in areas of need throughout the globe with our international partner organization, Stop Hunger Now. We also organize hunger-focused skills trainings for … Continued

Carolina Kickoff

For over sixty-five years, the Campus Y has sponsored Carolina Kickoff (CK) as an informal introduction to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 175 incoming first-year students. Each year, 40 counselors endeavor to paint a total picture of campus life in just three days, introducing students to social justice and student life at Carolina. University officials such as the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor Crisp, and representatives from the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs offer advice on how to best take advantage of the school’s resources and new initiatives. We invite professors from a range of departments, as well as … Continued

Catalyst Conference

The annual Catalyst Conference brings a selected group of 100 high school students from across North Carolina to UNC-CH for a weekend-long exploration of social issues affecting American youth. Want to participate in Catalyst? Visit our website to find out more! In light of the problems that have become increasingly prevalent among today’s youth, we feel that Catalyst Conference serves a vital need. By gathering North Carolina’s emerging leaders to discuss the sources of aggression and discontentment in our schools and communities, they will become better enabled to address this turmoil. These 100 students will face a challenging task. They will be asked to view … Continued

Community Empowerment Fund

The Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) is a student-powered non-profit organization focused on enabling and sustaining transitions out of homelessness and poverty. Founded in 2009, CEFprovides relationship-based support, workforce development, financial education, and matched savings accounts to individuals experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness in Orange and Durham Counties of North Carolina. Our approach combines relationship-based support with financial services that achieve equity. Our members are connected to a supportive community of volunteers and advocates to help achieve their goals. We work with members to secure housing, gain employment, and build savings in order to achieve financial security and sustain transitions out of poverty. We … Continued

Criminal Justice Awareness and Action (CJAA)

Criminal Justice Awareness and Action (CJAA) works to bring critical community attention to the problems plaguing the criminal justice system. CJAA volunteers and organizes with various partners including the Durham County Youth Home, a local juvenile detention center, and leads activist efforts on campus and in the larger community. Recognizing the criminal justice system as central to the consolidation and concentration of oppressive power, CJAA focuses on systemic and structural issues such as racism and poverty, while also emphasizing the importance of personal stories and compassion in working towards a more just and gentle world. Check out our Facebook page to keep … Continued

Embody Carolina

Embody Carolina is a committee dedicated to raising eating disorder awareness, spreading body positivity, fighting stigma and educating allies in our community through an intersectional and inclusive approach. At the core of what we do is our peer-led training that aims to educate students about identifying and supporting someone struggling with an eating disorder. We are meeting a real need on campus, as eating disorders affect around 10-20% of college women, and 4-10% of college men. Even higher percentages of students struggle with negative body image, disordered eating, and low self-esteem. These disorders and issues are not only potentially physically … Continued


Empower assists local artisans in growing sustainably by offering strategic recommendations on their business models. Recommendations encompass areas including marketing, operations, supply chain, and finance. Empower works hands-on with the Chapel Hill and surrounding community to instill sustainable business practices and make small business owners and artisans more self-reliant. Co-Chairs Richa Shah K.K. Pedigo Committee Email:

Enrich ELL

Enrich ELL The mission of Enrich ELL is to promote opportunities through English literacy, to foster cross-cultural understanding, and to build lasting relationships between UNC students and members of the community. This program provides university students the opportunity to serve the specific needs of adult English-language learners. Our objectives are to: 1) Teach English skills based on the individual needs of each participant 2) Provide childcare, tutoring, and mentoring for the participant’s children during the classes 3) Serve as a valuable resource for the well-being of these families and their integration into the Chapel Hill/Carrboro community In order to fulfill … Continued

Health Focus

Health Focus is a group that works to raise awareness and increase activism for health issues by volunteering in health related areas in our community and exploring strategies to address current health disparities. We currently volunteer at the UNC Children’s Hospital, organize nutrition talks in Chapel Hill elementary and middle schools, have an annual Holistic Health Fair, and teach health education in the community.  Please contact one of the Co-Chairs if you would like to learn more about Health Focus. Co-Chairs Blythe King Preeya Deol   Committee Email:

Helping Youth by Providing Enrichment (HYPE)

Helping Youth by Providing Enrichment (HYPE) provides social, cultural and educational experiences for K-5 students at underserved community centers throughout the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. UNC students serve these centers by acting as both tutors and mentors. In addition to HYPE’s role as tutors, we seek to inform our members and the university as a whole about educational disparities still present today through interactive discussions and workshops. In addition to tutoring at the local centers, HYPE also brings the students to UNC at the end of the semester so tutors and kids can hang out in a non-classroom setting while also showing … Continued

Hope Gardens

Hope Gardens is a completely student-run nonprofit organization that seeks to bridge the gap between UNC and the broader community on issues of food access and food security. WHAT DO WE AIM TO DO? We strive to educate participants about gardening, raise awareness about food insecurity and the ways we can combat it, increase access to fresh produce, and catalyze transitions to healthy lifestyles in the Chapel Hill – Carrboro area. OUR PROGRAMS: Become a Member Become a Volunteer Get Involved with Hope Cooks Be sure to visit our website to see how you can get involved and check out our Facebook page for … Continued

Linking Immigrants to New Communities (LINC)

Linking Immigrants to New Communities (LINC) helps ease the transition of recent immigrants to the United States through student interaction and raising awareness on and off campus. We teach English classes to immigrants as well as hold conversation/discussion groups and workshops to help with the acculturation process for immigrants in our community. These activities, and our workshops in particular, help connect immigrants to legal, social, and cultural resources in their communities. We also strive to inform UNC students of the realities of the immigration system through personal interactions with immigrants, in order to create advocates and allies for immigration reform and … Continued


Nourish-UNC is a movement of students engaging with communities in mutually beneficial partnerships in pursuit of a socially and economically just world. Nourish operates out of a social entrepreneurship model, partnering with local organizations to run small-scale business ventures (like Hunger Lunch, Mugs and Pugs, Bubble Tea, and Global Music Jam), the profits of which are used to implement sustainable, grassroots development projects with community-based partners in other regions. Though it was started at UNC in 2003, Nourish International has since expanded to 45 different campuses. Find out how you can get involved by visiting our website, our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter! Co-Chairs Anastasia Soule … Continued

Project Heel

Project Heel is student-run and student-founded global health organization based at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. Project Heel’s overarching mission is to engage undergraduate students in international service experiences to facilitate culturally relevant and locally-driven sustainable development in Lawra and Kumasi, Ghana.  Project Heel has pledged a comprehensive commitment to the health and wellness of the people of Ghana in an effort to improve access to basic health knowledge, overall quality of care, and availability of vital medical supplies. The ultimate goal of Project Heel is community-based sustainability with local health officials leading such initiatives. Primary projects include: Providing … Continued

Project Literacy

Project Literacy is based on the idea that literacy skills are the foundation of education, opportunity, and social participation.  The group coordinates with community organizations to fight local illiteracy, while simultaneously fighting illiteracy across the nation and around the world. Be sure to visit our website for more information on how to get involved as well as upcoming teaching/internship opportunities! Click here to get on the Project Lit listserv! Co-Chairs Cecilia King CJ Reguyal   Committee Email:

Rethink: Psychiatric Illness

Rethink: Psychiatric Illness is aimed at raising awareness about mental illnesses and challenging the stigmas that surround them. In order to encourage students to become advocates, Rethink runs student-led trainings throughout the school year in which participants learn the basics about mental illnesses, how to access resources at UNC, and how to be affirming friends and peers. In 2012 Rethink: Psychiatric Illness was awarded UNC’s Diversity Award for a Student Organization. Find out how you can get involved by visiting our website, check out our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter. Watch our video to see current committee members explain why … Continued

Stage Play

Through acting and the dramatic arts, Stage Play helps children with autism cope with the common stressors and challenges of navigating through social environments. Stage Play recruits volunteers who are involved in dramatic arts as well as special needs care/education. These volunteers are each paired with a child with autism and engage in the acting activities with them, providing friendship and guidance. Committee Email:

Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC)

Students Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) is committed to defending social justice through environmental initiatives. We communicate messages of environmental and political activism through local initiatives, but have extended our reach to the state level as well, and have participated in several international service learning trips. This past year, we worked with the Rogers Road community in its efforts to maintain adequate public health standards by securing safe water and sewer infrastructure. We organized weekend trips to RENA Community Garden and through several education-focused initiatives, spoke with Chapel Hill middle school students on the implications of local environmental justice issues. Over the course … Continued

Students United for Immigrant Equality (SUIE)

Students United for Immigrant Equality (SUIE) – SUIE’s vision is to empower, inform, and activate the immigrant community, its allies, and the greater public about the issues that prevent immigrants in the United States from being able to enjoy the protection of basic human rights granted under the U.S. Constitution. We advocate for immigrant issues to be recognized as human rights issues through the promotion of the ideals that stress equality of all people regardless of national origin or documentation status. Get involved! Find out how by visiting our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for the latest events. Co-Chairs Jessica Mencia … Continued

Tar Heel TABLE

Tar Heel TABLE seeks to increase awareness of the prevalence of local childhood hunger and poverty in our community and support the work of TABLE, a non‐profit hunger relief organization serving children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Get involved and check out our Facebook page for more information or watch Tar Heel TABLE at work in the video below! Contact us at Co-Chairs Sean Kurz Grace Stafford

Technology Without Borders

Technology Without Borders (TWB)’s mission is to bridge the digital divide in all its forms, both at home and abroad. TWB seeks to apply technical solutions to pressing social needs in innovative ways. We focus on ensuring equitable access to technology and in providing technical education to underprivileged groups of society.   TWB serves both kids and adults directly in these communities. Members can participate in our outreach without knowing more “tech” than what brought you to this webpage. This basic amount of tech knowledge is what most of those of the internet era have grown up with and learned over … Continued

Youth for Elderly Service (YES)

Youth for Elderly Service (YES) has a mission to improve the lives of the elderly by providing companionship. Through volunteering at retirement homes, daytime elder-care centers, and other locales, YES volunteers are able to build meaningful relationships with elderly members of the community and broaden their own understanding of various elder-related issues. Volunteers engage with elderly residents during weekly visits and at larger monthly events organized by the committee. Group activities, games, crafts, and simple conversations are all ways we care for and give attention to this commonly isolated population. YES members enjoy hearing the stories they have to share and … Continued