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.  

June 6, 2018
Whirlwind Farms Practices Sustainable Agriculture
Whirlwind Farms Practices Sustainable Agriculture

When I arrive at Whirlwind Farms in Geraldine, owned by Dove and Russell Stackhouse, I am greeted by bright green fields of crops and two large farm dogs eagerly awaiting a visitor. The Stackhouses have lived and farmed on a 15-acre plot since 2010. They cultivate seven acres of open land surrounded by eight acres of woods. 

By Erin Blythe
June 1, 2018
Anderson comes home from New York City, opens Shoe Shop museum
Anderson comes home from New York City, opens Shoe Shop museum

The first time I met Mrs. Betty Anderson was in Black Belt Treasures in Camden. She stopped and introduced herself. Anderson has a smile that lights up her whole face, the kind that makes you grin from ear to ear as well. I was told long before I began my summer of “Living Democracy” in Camden that I needed to visit with her and hear her story, so I did. 

By Laura Agee
May 31, 2018
Special Concert Marks Progress for Cricket Theatre
Special Concert Marks Progress for Cricket Theatre

One ornate fixture immediately jumps out in the night sky above Main Street in Collinsville. The Cricket Theatre marquee, restored in 2016, is a bright beacon to newcomers driving into Collinsville at night. On May 26, 2018, hundreds of Collinsville residents lined up under the fluorescent sign to see The Primitive Quartet, with special guest The Baileys, perform.

By Erin Blythe
August 4, 2017
Collinsville teaches lessons about community
Collinsville teaches lessons about community

When I got accepted to be a Living Democracy Fellow, I was excited and nervous to start my summer journey. Although I am from the same area in Northeast Alabama, I was quite unfamiliar with Collinsville. I knew the interstate to Tennessee ran through there. I also had heard a lot about Trade Day, the giant flea market held there every Saturday. But I soon learned there is so much more than that in Collinsville

By Whitney Sutton
August 1, 2017
New Free Little Libraries in Collinsville
New Free Little Libraries in Collinsville

Free Little Libraries arrived in Collinsville this summer. This is a community book exchange program that provides a place for people to take a book someone else has left or leave a book for the next person. Once I started researching how to go about building a structure like that, I realized I was in over my head. I asked Mark Shatzel, another Library board member, to assist me in the construction process, and he agreed to help.

By Whitney Sutton