Living Democracy brings together students and citizens to collaborate on issues of concern to Alabama communities. Coordinated by the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University and the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, the project prepares undergraduate college students for civic life through living-learning experiences in the summer.  

September 22, 2015
Unexpected Gifts Make Roanoke Summer a Blessing
Unexpected Gifts Make Roanoke Summer a Blessing

My summer in Roanoke was my first experience living in a small town. I hail from the suburbs of a large capital city, Nashville, and our communal character has always been determined by our relationship to this city. We may technically be distinct, but I have always felt that many view our town as an extension rather than its own entity.

By Joy Porter
August 19, 2015
The 5 Truths I Learned from Living in Linden
The 5 Truths I Learned from Living in Linden

I applied for Living Democracy on a whim. I was captivated by the idea of living in a new town, learning about a strange, new place, and getting to do what I love---writing about my experiences. I was pleasantly surprised when I was offered a position on the Living Democracy team.

By Amy Hudson
August 17, 2015
An Insider's/Outsider's Reflection on the Randolph County Hospital Vote
An Insider's/Outsider's Reflection on the Randolph County Hospital Vote

Through my articles, I feel like I’ve been able to give a pretty good accounting of my summer here in Roanoke. I’ve talked about the highs (and there have been a lot of those), the lows, and the lessons I’ve learned about rural democracy and community engagement. The only thing that I really haven’t talked about has been arguably the most central issue of the summer—the community’s hospital vote.

By Joy Porter
August 11, 2015
Selma Motivates Parker to Carry Lessons Forward
Selma Motivates Parker to Carry Lessons Forward

As I reminisce on my summer, I owe it to Selma that I am now more comfortable and motivated to do community work in my hometown or any other place I may learn to call home. For 10 weeks I was compelled to drift away from my comfort zone and adapt to a new environment and way of life.

By Illyshia Parker
August 7, 2015
Roanoke's Outdoor Education Center Sign of Community Innovation, Vision
Roanoke's Outdoor Education Center Sign of Community Innovation, Vision

One of the most innovative avenues through which Roanoke tries to provide these opportunities is Handley High School’s Outdoor Education Center, an outdoor learning facility that boasts fruit and vegetable patches, a chicken coop, fish hatcheries, bee-keeping facilities, and more. The OEC shows Roanoke is a town that is willing to think outside the box and implement original ideas in order to position itself on the cutting-edge. 

By Joy Porter