2020 Living Democracy crew starts summer of learning
The four 2020 Auburn University Living Democracy students were preparing to spend their summer living and learning in Alabama communities when the COVID-19 crisis disrupted everyone’s plans.
While the summer of 2020 won’t allow the normal community living experience, the four students were determined to continue learning.
This summer, they work as so many Americans are with distance learning and phone interviews with citizens in Camden, Chatom, Collinsville, and Elba. They are continuing to work closely with community partners to discover what it means to live democracy.
The 2020 Living Democracy students are Harrison Carter, Amy Clark, Addison Peacock, and Thomas Chapman.
Carter, from Montgomery, is a political science major who planned to spend 10 weeks in Elba. Although that is no longer possible, Carter said, “I joined the program because I knew I would be able to learn about what it’s like to be civically engaged in small town America.” His primary community partner is Justin Maddox with the nonprofit organization Restoration154 http://www.restoration154.com.
Clark, from Columbus, Georgia, is an Auburn University senior majoring in economics and journalism. She will be working with community partners Sulynn Creswell, executive director, and Kristin Law, arts programs and marketing director, at Black Belt Treasures in Camden. http://www.blackbelttreasures.com.
She said, “Although I would rather be immersed in the Camden community physically, I feel thankful that I am able to learn about such an interesting and close-knit community from afar.”
Addison Peacock, a junior majoring in musical theatre and an ensemble member of the Mosaic Theatre Company, will be working with community partner Jennifer Wilkins, head librarian at the Collinsville Public Library.
Peacock, a native of Auburn, said, “I hope to learn about the character of my community, and how its citizens are continuing to uplift local democracy even during a difficult and chaotic year. “
Chapman, from Saraland, is a sophomore electrical engineering major, who will be working with community partner Jessica Ross, director of the Washington County Library. http://www.wcpls.net.
He said, “When I applied for Living Democracy, I saw an opportunity to learn more about civic life, and to learn more about other places in Alabama.” Chapman said he expects the pandemic modified experience will be difficult but rewarding.
Hannah White, who lived in Collinsville as a 2019 Living Democracy student, is a graduate assistant working as a mentor and social media coordinator this summer.
Living Democracy students serve as Jean O'Connor Snyder Interns with the David Mathews Center for Civic Life http://mathewscenter.org.
You can follow stories students write about their experiences on the Living Democracy Facebook page and the Living Democracy blog https://cla.auburn.edu/livingdemocracy/.