Quality Integrated Education for All Children
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“Racial Justice in Education” Youth Video Contest

The Sheff Movement is proud to partner with the Reel Youth Hartford Film Festival in 2015 by sponsoring the festival’s first-ever Social Justice Award. We’re excited to announce “Racial Justice in Education” as the inaugural theme.

Students: Tell us a story—in eight minutes or less—that addresses the theme of “Racial Justice in Education.” We want to know how Sheff v. O’Neill—the local civil rights struggle for quality integrated schools—has affected you, or your family, friends, and community in the city or suburban region of Hartford, Connecticut. What has been achieved? What challenges remain?

Entry Deadline: April 11, 2015
Festival Date: April 25, 2015

Note: Entries received by March 1, 2015 will be considered for a special screening during the Sheff Movement’s Advocacy Day at the CT Legislative Office Building (March 12, 2015). Films submitted for Advocacy Day can be further refined prior to official submission for the festival.

Social Justice Award prize: $250

Eligibility: The Festival is open to middle or high school-aged youth who live in or attend school in the Greater Hartford area.

Guidelines: Films must be 1 to 8 minutes in length. Be creative and tell us a story from your point of view. We recommend shooting your own video footage, which can be done with an inexpensive camera or phone. If you add video or sound from other sources, be sure to credit them. Ask people for permission before filming them. You are responsible for the content of your video. Consult more detailed guidelines here.

To submit your entry:

1. For Sheff Movement Advocacy DayOnce you’ve finished your video, upload it to a free web hosting service (such as YouTube.com or Vimeo.com) and complete our submission form, which requires an on-screen signature from you and your parent/guardian.

2. For the Reel Youth Hartford Film FestivalTo be considered for the various awards, including the Social Justice Award, follow these submission guidelines.


New to filmmaking? Have limited access to equipment? That’s okay!!

Student filmmakers aged 13-19 can access laptops, image and video editing software, and other media tools at the Hartford Public Library’s new YOUmedia Center, which provides a space for teens to “explore, express and create using digital media.” Video production hours are on Thursday, 3-5pm. See the YOUmedia schedule.

RHYFF is offering the following film workshops on Thursdays from 3:30-5:30 PM at Hartford YOUmedia (500 Main Street Hartford, CT 06103):

Intro & Brainstorm
Thursday, February 26

Pre-Production & Writing
Thursday, March 5

Writing & Camera Basics
Thursday, March 12

Camera Basics & Production Schedule
Thursday, March 19

Thursday, March 26

Filming & Editing
Thursday, April 2

Thursday, April 9

RYHFF is also offering workshops for Boys & Girls Club students. Learn more about Boys & Girls Club workshops by emailing reelyouthhartfordfilmfestival@gmail.com. 


  • Does your family and/or current school have any historical connection to the Sheff case?
  • Tell us what kind of school you attend (e.g. interdistrict magnet school, Open Choice school, neighborhood school, charter school), and what it’s like to be a student there. Did you help choose your school?
  • What do young people know—or not know—about Sheff today?
  • Do all students have equal educational opportunities?
  • What role you you think integration can/should/does play in the struggle for racial justice?
  • Tell us about a student group and/or program at your school that promotes integration and/or racial justice.
  • Profile a teacher who has helped you better understand what racial justice means.
  • Is racial, cultural, and/or socioeconomic integration important to you? Why or why not?
  • Interview a parent, teacher, student, or activist who is improving education for all.
  • Create a commercial describing an idea you have about promoting racial justice and/or integration in Greater Hartford’s schools.