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 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.  

August 20, 2019
New friends make Chatom summer meaningful
New friends make Chatom summer meaningful

My summer in Washington County was unlike anything I ever imagined. It gave me the opportunity to explore. I had never been to Washington County before so every part of it was a new adventure.

By Melissa Dennis
August 19, 2019
Watts appreciates Elba's gifts of kindness, wisdom
Watts appreciates Elba's gifts of kindness, wisdom

I remember my first drive through Elba.  I drove around on a quick tour for 15 minutes. I was shocked because it seemed that I had seen the whole town on that short drive. This first impression set in as I realized I would be spending my summer in a small Alabama town.

By Whitt Watts
August 14, 2019
Time in Elba teaches valuable lessons
Time in Elba teaches valuable lessons

Sunday, Aug. 11, was my final day in Elba and the 70th day of my Living Democracy Internship. I drove to Elba on June 3 and covered my first story there the next day. In the intervening weeks I wrote a total of 34 stories for The Elba Clipper and took 1,115 pictures. I covered two City Council meetings and one shockingly strategic bridge club. I ate dozens of quesadillas at Monterrey's and Los Corrales and even more chicken sandwiches at the Rabbit Hole.

By Jack West
August 12, 2019
Hannah White appreciates Collinsville's hospitality
Hannah White appreciates Collinsville's hospitality

The people of Collinsville represent some of the best people I have met or will ever meet. The people of this town are hospitable, open, and kind – not just to me, but to all they encounter. I wasn’t expecting to be greeted with such warmth, but I am thankful for that and how it made my transition to town so much easier.

By Hannah White
August 8, 2019
Focusing on future, working together may resolve housing challenge
Focusing on future, working together may resolve housing challenge

Phillip Box can remember the uneasy combination of emotions that he felt when he woke up early on Christmas morning of 2015 in Elba. "We knew that there was a high chance of a flood risk," Box recalled. "Right after we began to unwrap presents, I got a call that the water was rising, and we needed to prepare."

By Whitt Watts