Apple and the Redford Center have announced the launch of the second annual Redford Center Stories Challenge, a youth filmmaking challenge that aims to amplify the voices of educators and students as change makers in the environmental justice movement.

The 2021 Redford Center Stories Challenge will promote social and environmental justice themes to empower middle-school-aged youth and create a learning community of transformational storytelling. By placing students in the director’s chair, they will be able to provide their insights into a final Apple Clips filmmaking challenge. Additionally, Apple and the Redford Center will provide a platform to educators and students to share their ideas and inspirations in mini-challenges that develop student confidence and storytelling capacities throughout the school year.

Last June, Apple announced its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, which saw countless young people stand up and fight for social justice. Led by Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, the enterprise aspires to advance racial equity in education, the economy and the criminal justice system.

“Young people are leading the movement to create urgency around the need for environmental action,” Jackson said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with the Redford Center to lift young people’s voices and give them tools to create content that inspires real change and furthers justice around the world. For there is no justice without environmental justice.”

Judges for this year’s story challenge include Jackson, Robert Redford, Sibylle Szaggars Redford, Dylan Redford, co-founder of Future Coalition Katie Eder, filmmaker Faith Briggs and Animal Planet host Coyote Peterson. Student achievement will be recognized across a variety of categories with a celebration on Earth Day 2021, accompanied by more than $10,000 in prize packages for teachers, students and schools. Student prizes include an opportunity to make a short film with a professional filmmaker, youth-directed donations to student and educator-selected nonprofits, Apple gift cards and more.

“The Redford Center has always believed that storytelling has a unique power to move people to action, and some of the most important work we do is supporting the next generation of storytellers who understand the urgency of the environmental crises we face and want to be part of the solution,” Jill Tidman, executive director at The Redford Center, said in a statement. “Redford Center Stories is our way of empowering young people as creative agents of change to ignite a necessary, large-scale culture shift in support of a world in equitable balance, where human and planetary health and justice are fundamental values driving action.”

Additional organizations working with Redford Center Stories this year include Apple Distinguished Educators, EarthXFilm, Teach for America, National Writing Project, California Film Institute, California Academy of Science, Climate Emergency Fund, Earth Day Network, NatureBridge, Project Green Schools, Children for Change and Coral Reef Alliance.

Participation is free and open to all. Submissions are due by March 31 and winners will be announced on Earth Day (April 22).