The Redford Center Announces Inaugural Recipient of The Annual Robert Redford Award

Robert Redford to Honor Jaden Smith at The Redford Center’s Benefit Event in San Francisco

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCOThe Redford Center, a Bay Area based non-profit organization co-founded in 2005 by Robert Redford and his son, James, today announced that Jaden Smith will be the recipient of the inaugural Robert Redford Award. The award will be presented by Redford to Smith on December 6, 2018 during The Redford Center’s Benefit Event at August Hall in San Francisco.

The Robert Redford Award—named for the American artist, businessman and ardent environmentalist Robert Redford—is a new distinction established by The Redford Center, a group committed to driving positive environmental change through inspiring stories that galvanize action. The new award will honor Redford’s decades-long environmental legacy and will be presented to a revered artist committed to using their voice to protect the earth and to create a more just and sustainable future for us all.

“Mr. Redford’s deeply felt and long-lived environmental activism is the touchstone for all of our work,” said Jill Tidman, executive director of The Redford Center. “We created this award to pay tribute to his legacy and because we need to elevate environmental leaders like him and Jaden right now, maybe more than ever before. We need them to inspire us, to engage us and to continue to lead us forward.”

Smith’s environmental activism and commitment began when he was ten years old and observed first-hand the plague of ocean plastic. This initial personal experience has evolved into a dedication to the cause that distinctly echoes the Redford legacy.

At age 14, Smith co-founded a state-of-the-art sustainably sourced water bottling and packaging company, JUST water along with friend, mentor and eventual business partner Drew FitzGerald. At age 18, he received the Environmental Media Association’s Male Futures Award and shortly after became one of their most active board members. He’s currently working with G-Star Raw on their “Forces of Nature” line to promote stewardship of the planet with more environmentally sustainable materials, and earlier this month, Smith shared the stage with Al Gore at the Summit L.A.18 Conference.

“Robert Redford’s work and voice in the environmental movement has had an incredible impact on myself and others like me around the world,” said Smith. “It’s a true honor to be recognized by The Redford Center considering the work they do in supporting the next generation of environmentalists and storytellers.”

“It’s time to hand the reins to our youth, and encourage them to become the designers of their future,” said Robert Redford. “Young people have the optimism, energy, and fresh perspective we need to meet our environmental challenges head-on. We must honor their efforts, and support them as leaders.”

As an artist, Smith’s passion and creativity reaches a wide and diverse audience, and over the years, he has utilized his platform to inspire other young voices on critical environmental and social issues.

“There’s really no better first person to honor in this particular moment with this award,” said James Redford. “Jaden is a model for young people, and my Dad and I both understand how important it is to support the positivity and solutions of younger generations right now.”

“It’s time to redefine what it means to be an environmentalist,” said Tidman. “At its core, protecting and restoring our planet is about justice and respect for all life, and it requires everyone’s participation—especially young people—to achieve it. It’s time for solutions, action and hope.”

Tickets to attend The Redford Center Benefit Event on December 6 at August Hall in San Francisco are still available and can be purchased through Eventbrite, including VIP Experience passes, general admission and concert tickets.

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