Living Democracy

Living Democracy 2019

September 22, 2015
Unexpected Gifts Make Roanoke Summer a Blessing
Unexpected Gifts Make Roanoke Summer a Blessing

My summer in Roanoke was my first experience living in a small town. I hail from the suburbs of a large capital city, Nashville, and our communal character has always been determined by our relationship to this city. We may technically be distinct, but I have always felt that many view our town as an extension rather than its own entity.

By Joy Porter
August 17, 2015
An Insider's/Outsider's Reflection on the Randolph County Hospital Vote
An Insider's/Outsider's Reflection on the Randolph County Hospital Vote

Through my articles, I feel like I’ve been able to give a pretty good accounting of my summer here in Roanoke. I’ve talked about the highs (and there have been a lot of those), the lows, and the lessons I’ve learned about rural democracy and community engagement. The only thing that I really haven’t talked about has been arguably the most central issue of the summer—the community’s hospital vote.

By Joy Porter
August 7, 2015
Roanoke's Outdoor Education Center Sign of Community Innovation, Vision
Roanoke's Outdoor Education Center Sign of Community Innovation, Vision

One of the most innovative avenues through which Roanoke tries to provide these opportunities is Handley High School’s Outdoor Education Center, an outdoor learning facility that boasts fruit and vegetable patches, a chicken coop, fish hatcheries, bee-keeping facilities, and more. The OEC shows Roanoke is a town that is willing to think outside the box and implement original ideas in order to position itself on the cutting-edge. 

By Joy Porter
July 30, 2015
My Night in Night Court
My Night in Night Court

When I began my summer in Roanoke, I never imagined that my Living Democracy experience would involve a stint in court. Thankfully, my vantage point was from the attorney’s table rather than the defendant’s seat. I’ve met so many interesting, kind, and generous people during my summer in Roanoke, and local attorney Kesa Johnston Dunn has been one of my favorites.

By Joy Porter
July 23, 2015
Council Meeting Provides Stage for Good Citizenship
Council Meeting Provides Stage for Good Citizenship

I attended my first city council meeting in Roanoke on July 13. With its meeting time at 6 p.m. right after the end of many people’s working days, I imagined it would be a pretty small crowd. Much to my surprise, as we walked into City Hall ten minutes before the meeting was to start, the council room was almost completely full. 

By Joy Porter

Last Updated: April 04, 2019