BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham’s civic engagement program, the Academy of Civic Engagement, is now accepting applicants for its next cohort. 

According to the Birmingham mayor’s office, ACE is a six-week program designed to help Birmingham residents gain a better understanding of the inner workings of their city and give them the tools they need to engage with it. So far, 1,000 residents have graduated. 

“Serving and leading our city is a community effort,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin in a press release. “ACE is an ideal way for our residents to learn how they can act, serve and lead across our 99 neighborhoods.”

ACE sessions center on five topics: public safety, infrastructure, how residents can get involved, neighborhood revitalization and City Hall. According to the city, its goal is “to demystify government and create more accessible pathways for residents to get involved.”

During the program, attendees will have the opportunity to engage with city leadership and take a tour of city hall.

Sessions begin Sept. 7 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Boutwell Auditorium. The remaining meetings will be every Thursday through Oct. 5 with the option to attend at one of the locations across the city.  

To enroll, visit the ACE website here. The deadline to apply is Sept. 5. Participants must be at least 16 years old and a resident of Birmingham. 

“I encourage all Birminghamians to participate in this program,” Woodfin said. “Armed with the tools and knowledge this free academy provides, together, we can help make our city better.”