For the Land & the People

Aurora Lights is basically broken into two main focus areas: The Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership (SOL) School and For the Land and the People.

For the Land and the People is the umbrella program for all of Aurora Lights’ projects and programs that focus on awareness of environmental issues within West Virginia and Appalachia.

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Learn more about each of our projects:

Journey Up Coal River (JUCR) is an interactive mapping project that combines music, audio, photography and the written word to tell the story of the Coal River Valley, WV. Along with its lesson plans and maps, JUCR provides comprehensive and sometimes interactive opportunities for students and educators to delve into issues surrounding Southwestern West Virginia’s Coal River Valley. Visit the JUCR website here.

Moving Mountains and Still Moving Mountains: The Journey Home unleash the passion and urgency empowering the movement against mountaintop removal at this critical moment. Both CDs were created by Aurora Lights and feature Appalachian artists and their songs that all center around one common theme: the devastation of mountaintop removal mining. These albums include all facets of the movement for justice and progress in Central Appalachia. Learn more about our CDs here.

My Friends are My Heroes: The Stories of Empowered West Virginia Women is a new project for Aurora Lights. This project was created to showcase the powerful, dedicated women of West Virginia who work hard to protect the state’s land and its people. Visit the Heroes website here.

Not In My Forests (NIMF) actively trains youth to be leaders within the fight against extractive industries’ use of public West Virginia lands as well as provides opportunities for citizens to be actively involved in protecting three different forests: Coopers Rock State Forest, Kanawha State Forest, and Monongahela National Forest. Additionally, NIMF connects directly with the Mountain SOL School by providing youth with biweekly training in organizing and in supporting front line organizations. Visit the NIMF website here.

The Scholar-Activist Alliance (SAA) is a new way to connect scholars, researchers, and students with community groups’ real needs, thus providing a path for academic research to have real world impacts on peoples’ lives. For example, a community group in Southern West Virginia may need a graduate student to study the organic compounds showing up in well water to better know the source and how to stop this drinking water contamination. A graduate student may be deciding on the subject of his or her thesis or dissertation and wanting a way for that research to be more than theoretical. The Scholar-Activist Alliance can help both of these goals. Learn more here.