Home page of the Living Democracy program

Living Democracy brings together students and citizens to collaborate on issues of concern to Alabama communities. Coordinated by the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in 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.  

May 24, 2022
Young couple invests in downtown Camden
Young couple invests in downtown Camden

Jimmy Pugh joined his father to run Camden’s Coast to Coast Hardware Store in 1978 in his 20s. After 44 years of running one of the town’s most successful businesses, he handed over ownership to a young couple with big plans, Lee and Katie Turner.

By Ashby Henry
May 19, 2022
Students begin 2022 summer of Living Democracy
Students begin 2022 summer of Living Democracy

Four Auburn University Living Democracy students will spend ten weeks living and learning in the Alabama communities of Camden, Collinsville, Chatom and Elba this summer. 

January 12, 2022
Living Democracy featured in Alabama Municipal Journal
Living Democracy featured in Alabama Municipal Journal

The Living Democracy program was featured in the Winter 2022 volume of the Alabama Municipal Journal.

August 4, 2021
Living Democracy accepting applications for Summer 2022
Living Democracy accepting applications for Summer 2022

Living Democracy is a living-learning opportunity to engage with a small Alabama community. Students will spend 10 weeks of the summer living and working in one of four towns: Collinsville, Elba, Chatom, or Camden. Living in the community allows students to fully immerse themselves in the local culture and develop lasting relationships with those who call these towns home

August 4, 2021
Oquendo Bernard thanks Elba for many gifts
Oquendo Bernard thanks Elba for many gifts

It’s been 70 days and I can still remember the exact moment when I first arrived in Elba, Alabama. I felt mixed emotions and for a split second I questioned myself about whether I had made the right decision. Throughout my time here, I am often asked why Elba. But now that my summer of Living Democracy is over, my response is why not Elba. It was an experience of a lifetime.

By Oquendo Bernard