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.

Students interested in applying for Summer 2023 can apply at aub.ie/livingdemocracyapp or contact Brittany Branyon at branyba@auburn.edu.  

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
August 2, 2021
Laney Mayfield reflects on summer of learning
Laney Mayfield reflects on summer of learning

When I first interviewed for the role as a community journalist and civic engagement leader for Living Democracy, I never thought it would guide me to a place filled with adventures, lessons, and excitement. With my eyes closed and not knowing what to expect, the program led me to a gem in Northeast Alabama, Collinsville.

By Laney Mayfield
August 2, 2021
Retiree creates flags from wood
Retiree creates flags from wood

Liberty Woodworking, LLC is a small company in Elba owned by Dick Cardwell. He retired in Elba just two years ago and started producing American flags from wood as a hobby, some with military seals and others he describes as specialty flags.

By Oquendo Bernard
July 27, 2021
Competition provides fun day on Pea River
Competition provides fun day on Pea River

As the sun started to peek through the clouds, I was rushing over to the boat shop driving Betsy, one of the Pea River Outdoors vans that happen to be my companion for the final few weeks that I have left in Elba, to do a final prep before the big event.

By Oquendo Bernard
July 26, 2021
Thank You, Camden!
Thank You, Camden!

Ten weeks ago, I loaded my car up to spend the summer in Camden, Alabama. My mind raced with every possibility of what this summer had in store. Now that my summer of Living Democracy is over, I know the experience exceeded every expectation I could have ever had. In fact, it gave me a whole new perspective on life.

By Lauren Landers