Reviewed by: Madison Croxson
Ever wanted to get involved in your local government but weren’t sure how? Want to understand what exactly the city does and how you can plug in? The Academy of Civic Engagement (ACE) is a City of Birmingham initiative that helps Birmingham residents learn how to serve and be leaders in your community. Act fast to secure your spot—applications are due Thursday, April 7.
What is ACE?
ACE is a City of Birmingham initiative with a goal of getting residents involved and engaged within their local municipal government. ACE was created to bring citizens together to understand how the City is working for them and how they can plug in themselves. There are so many opportunities for Birmingham residents to serve and be leaders in their community.
- What it is: an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding about the everyday workings of Birmingham’s local government, Mayor Woodfin’s goals for the city and how they can be a part of the action.
- Program length: 7 weeks
- Orientation: April 7
- Graduation: May 26
Origins of Birmingham’s Academy of Civic Engagement
Mayor Woodfin wants all Birmingham citizens to feel like they are just as much a part of the city as the next person.
“My vision is for everyone to feel a part of the inner-city workings, no matter your social status, ZIP code, race, or social-economic status.”Randall Woodfin, Mayor, City of Birmingham
The program came to be when Mayor Woodfin was working his campaign. While on the campaign trail, Woodfin could clearly see that residents of Birmingham just wanted to be involved.
“No matter the concern, whether it be the reduction of crime, keeping our streets clean or learning how long-standing systems worked, you all, the residents of the city of Birmingham, simply wanted to be involved in their government. You just didn’t know where to start.”Randall Woodfin, Mayor, City of Birmingham
The program will focus on five topics
The ACE program focuses on five topics:
- how to get involved
- neighborhood revitalization
- City Hall
This includes a deeper look into the following:
- cultural institutions
- Birmingham businesses
- recreational institutions
- and more
The goal: for city residents to feel confident about the difference they can make and see an accessible pathway to get involved and make a change.
What previous participants have to say
Previous ACE alumni are grateful for what they learned and the new knowledge they gained about their own community.
“After participating in the Academy of Civic Engagement program last year, I’ve received a better understanding of how the City of Birmingham operates. For someone who wants to help keep my city and community moving in a positive direction, being able to understand our local government was key — and that’s how the program helped me grow. I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned with a more strategic approach. I have recommended this program to all of my friends.”Arthur Fisher Jr., ACE Alumni