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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) –The City of Huntsville is giving residents a new way to be involved and learn about local government.

The Office of Diversity Equity & Inclusion is launching a Civic Engagement Academy (CEA). The academy is a free, six-week program that will have classroom and interactive instruction. The program will have an orientation on September 27, 2022, and classes will run from October 4th through November 15th.

Applications are now open. Residents have until August 8th to apply.

In order to apply, you must:

  • Be at least 19 years old
  • Be a Huntsville resident, business owner or student
  • Be an aspiring or established local influencer
  • Have a desire to increase community involvement

The Civic Engagement Academy will have six in-person classes. In order to “graduate” the program, you must attend at least 5 of the 6 classes. Each class follows a specific topic:

  • October 4: Our City at Work at City Hall
  • October 11: Our City Growing & Playing
  • October 18: Our City Safe, Secure, Responding
  • October 25: Our City Communicating & Caring
  • November 1: Our City Maintaining
  • November 15: Our City Engaging

The announcement was made by the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Director, Kenny Anderson. He said the inaugural “cohort” will have about 40 spots.

“There are tremendous opportunities for people to be engaged and involved at many different levels,” Anderson said. “We want to make sure that people have the best information regarding those activities and those processes, and we want to be able to be in a position where we can work together with as many people as possible who want to work with us on growing a beautiful city.”

Anderson said the program is a great answer for the people who are looking for ways to get involved in the community.

“There are people who talk to us on a regular basis about being involved, ‘how do I become involved, how do I lend my support and services to the betterment of this community?’,” he said. “We think that the idea of a Civic Engagement Academy gives us the potential to provide structure, leadership, and opportunity for people who can come together and say we want to work together to support one another.”

Mayor Tommy Battle also attended the announcement. Mayor Battle said the academy represents a “special milestone” for the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

He described the upcoming classes as “interactive, dynamic, fun and creative.”

If you are interested in the program you can get more information and find the link to the application here. You can also reach out to Anderson for more information, by email: The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion can also be reached by calling 256-883-3993. Anderson stresses that the academy is free, so it is not cost-prohibitive.