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.  

May 17, 2019
Kennedy Retires after 34 years at Gaines Ridge
Kennedy Retires after 34 years at Gaines Ridge

Betty Kennedy transformed the historic home where she grew up in Camden into one of Alabama’s best-known restaurants. For the past 34 years, she has built Gaines Ridge into a fine-dining establishment that wins awards and keeps customers coming back.

By Laura Thompson
April 23, 2019
Five Auburn students ready to live, learn in Alabama communities
Five Auburn students ready to live, learn in Alabama communities

The 2019 Living Democracy Fellows are Melissa Dennis, Laura Thompson, Hannah White, Whitt Watts and Jack West. Throughout the summer, the students will create civic projects working with community partners in Camden, Chatom, Collinsville and Elba.

October 18, 2018
From Georgia to Peru: Taryn Wilson
From Georgia to Peru: Taryn Wilson

Remembering her favorite experience from the summer of 2013 when she lived in Selma as a Living Democracy student, Taryn Wilson recounted going to a home with great significance to the civil rights movement. Wilson and another Living Democracy student visited Richie Jean Jackson’s home to purchase one of her books and have it signed, also convincing her to give them a tour of her home, a historic meeting place for influential leaders of the movement.

By April Garrett
October 9, 2018
From Alabama to Ireland: Lowery McNeal
From Alabama to Ireland: Lowery McNeal

McNeal was a participant in Living Democracy a year before her graduation with a bachelor’s degree in history. Her summer in Selma was a perfect connection between her major and her minor, community and civic engagement. She was able to apply her knowledge and research ability to a community she was living in for ten weeks.

By April Garrett
August 6, 2018
Portis plans to carry Camp Hill lessons forward
Portis plans to carry Camp Hill lessons forward

When I first learned about the Living Democracy experience, I couldn’t think of a better way for me to spend the summer before I began graduate school this fall. Living Democracy put students in communities across Alabama to work with people and organizations. I am interested in pursuing a career that involves civic engagement and community development, and this was the perfect opportunity.

By Daphney Portis