About Aurora Lights
Our mission: Aurora Lights supports educational opportunities, locally-based projects and connections between academia and activism that strengthen the connections between human communities and their natural environment.
Our name is inspired by Aurora, the mythical Goddess of the Dawn. Aurora hung the stars through the night to keep light shining until she rode across the sky in her chariot to pick up her brother, the sun. In our times, Aurora Lights represents locally-inspired creative solutions to community problems.
Our award-winning project Journey Up Coal River, along with its lesson plans and maps, provides comprehensive and sometimes interactive opportunities for students and educators to delve into Southwestern West Virginia's Coal River Valley, problems there and residents' hopes and plans for the future. The internships we offer also allow students and young people an opportunity to take part in experiential education in West Virginia.
The mapping component of Journey Up Coal River has provided an opportunity for people in the Valley to have their voices be heard in a visual, multimedia format. Both our benefit music CDs, have brought stories through music and interviews with community members and activists to a larger audience. The second CD, Still Moving Mountains, shares content with Journey Up Coal River and adds another dimension to this set of resources. As of October 2010, they have also raised over $7,000 to raise awareness of mountaintop removal. For example, money has supported security for local activists, the Mountaintop Removal Roadshow, the American Forest Alliance, Pennies of Promise, Mountain Justice event food, volunteer spaces in the Coal River Valley and Wise Co., Va., and immediate needs that can't be met through the traditional grant process.
We work with artists to encourage creative expression that will inspire local communities to develop solutions to their environmental and social problems.
We support local employment opportunities to ease tension on families who must otherwise migrate to urban centers to find employment.
Ultimately, we hope to restore a sense of the sacred balance between the Earth and the human community that will promote sustainable and thoughtful land stewardship.
Aurora Lights is a 501(c)3 non-profit.