What is Redford Center Stories

Redford Center Stories is a learning and storytelling initiative providing educators and students with dynamic, integrative, no-cost tools to actively engage in the movement for environmental justice, protection and repair, and develop their capacity to have vibrant impact as storytellers elevating their visions and voices for a more just, hopeful, healthy world.  This initiative supports educators in bringing an environmental context and content to any class, and brings educators and students into dialogue with youth activists, filmmakers, and environmental and social justice leaders to create a learning community at the nexus of joy for learning, transformational storytelling and global justice.With this project, The Redford Center expands its focus on impact-driven storytelling and the power of narrative, understanding that every person, at every age, already is an environmentalist, storyteller, and agent of creative community and positive change. 

This year, the Stories Project invites young people (particularly those ages 10-14) to join a journey of learning that builds confidence for learning across any subject, and puts them in the director’s seat to discover and articulate their wisdom as authors of humanity’s collective narrative.  As well as digital materials, and a year-long interactive online learning community, this project provides creative/design mini-challenges to help students explore their local and global environment, and support for helping students create 90-second Apple Clips films about an aspect of environmental justice that is particularly meaningful to them, for showcase in April 2021.




New This Year

  • Free and flexible 10 lesson (+ bonus lessons) curriculum for educators across all subjects (with standards), and that can also be used by community organizations, learning hubs, parents at home 
  • Expansion of participant ages to include 5th-8th graders (ages 10-14); with application/accessibility for 9th-12th
  • Incorporation of Redford Center original/sponsored films and filmmakers as an essential part of the curriculum
  • Mini-Challenges that cultivate confidence, uplift student visions/voices, support the Final Youth Film Challenge
  • Year-long Learning Community bringing educators, students, filmmakers, youth activists and environmental justice leaders into dialogue (“Meet the Moment” Series)
  • Expanded partnerships and collaborator involvement
  • Inclusion of Youth Activists and Youth Council Meetings
  • Redford Center Stories Office Hours highlighting teachers and supporting technology use/project creation
  • Celebrations for all participating students in April 2021


James Redford Launches the Redford Stories Project, 2019


Highlights from Year One, 2019-2020

Hosted by The Redford Center, Redford Center Stories is an environmental storytelling Contest designed for teachers who are ready to empower their middle school students to re-imagine materials use, production and waste in the 2019-2020 school year. Redford Center Stories celebrates young minds by offering a showcase for students to share their ideas through a Visual Storytelling Contest, with winners announced on Earth Day 2020. This project-based approach to learning sparks curiosity, invites creativity, builds confidence and fosters teamwork as students seek solutions to real-world environmental problems. Join us in elevating youth voices and inspiring the next generation of environmental leaders.  For the 2019-2020 school year, Redford Center Stories asks students to explore a world where we adopt the three principles of a circular economy: design out waste and pollution; keep products and materials in use; regenerate natural systems.

This means looking beyond recycling and the current take-make-waste extractive industrial model and finding innovative solutions for building a regenerative economic system. Instead of a ‘”less bad” approach, we should be aiming for approaches that can be deemed “good”. This entails gradually changing the way we use finite resources, to design waste out of the system entirely and change the pervasive paradigm of growth and development to one that yields a positive community and a global-wide benefit. Working in small teams, students identified and researched a story idea based on the theme—re-imagining materials use and production and exploring the path to a circular economy. Teams presented their learning in a short 30-90 second Apple Clips film submitted to The Redford Center by their teacher sponsor by March 9, 2020, with winning films announced on Earth Day 2020.




In 2005, Robert Redford and his son James Redford co-founded The Redford Center to harness the power of film, video and new media to engage people through inspiring stories that galvanize environmental action. Over the years The Redford Center has produced, funded, and fiscally sponsored over 40 impact-driven film projects that showcase individuals taking action to protect and restore the planet.