Sean Penn will receive the second annual Peace and Justice Award at the eighth annual Artists for Peace and Justice benefit on September 11 during the Toronto Film Festival. Crash Oscar winner and APJ founder Paul Haggis will host the event along with Maria Bello, Maxwell, Pascal Raffy and George Stroumboulopoulos.
The APJ is a nonprofit organization that encourages peace and social justice and addresses issues of poverty around the world with an immediate focus on supporting the poorest communities in Haiti through programs in education, healthcare and dignity through the arts. Penn is being recognized for his longstanding commitment and dedication to supporting communities in Haiti and promoting the ideals of peace and social justice around the world.
Penn’s humanitarian work found him in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and later in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. In January 2010, the two-time Oscar winner established the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, which continues to support vulnerable communities to rebuild their lives in healthier and safer neighborhoods through access to quality education, health services, improved housing and infrastructure and livelihoods.
Funds raised by APJ during the past eighth year have supported the development of Port-au-Prince’s first free public high school, the Academy for Peace and Justice. Serving more than 2,800 students, the school recently celebrated its inaugural graduating class.