Sean Penn’s Haiti-focused charity, J/P HRO, is now going by the name CORE as the nonprofit expands its reach from Haiti to communities in the United States and the Caribbean.

For years now, Sean Penn has put his stamp on Golden Globes weekend with a Beverly Hills-set fundraiser all in the name of Haiti to raise funds and awareness for his J/P Haitian Relief Organization and its recovery efforts following the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Tonight, Penn, J/P HRO and its most famous supporters are gathering at Koreatown concert venue The Wiltern for a fundraiser — Haiti + Beyond — during which the Oscar winner is revealing a rebranding for his nonprofit — a name change and new logo while announcing an expanded mission and strategic vision and focus to include work in the United States and the Caribbean.

J/P HRO will now go by the name of CORE, which is dedicated towards saving lives while strengthening communities affected by or vulnerable to crises. “CORE envisions a world where at-risk communities are prepared for, resilient to, and able to respond and recover quickly and effectively, in the face of emergency,” reads the nonprofit’s new vision statement.

The move follows J/P HRO’s efforts in response to natural disasters in Puerto Rico, Antigua, Barbuda, North Carolina and Florida, sites of recent hurricanes. “Our ethos and successes have been hard forged in the context of Haiti,” Penn tells THR in a statement. “There, J/P HRO has weathered a lot of storms hand-in-hand with communities that have for so long been marginalized and vulnerable. We constantly strive to grow and learn with them to better support those in need. After nine years, our organization made up of majority Haitians, is now using our singular expertise to respond and support communities facing disaster in the Caribbean and the US. Our staff and board are excited for this next chapter, and as a founder I could not be more proud to see this organization expanding its mission and focus, to reach even more communities with its life-saving programs.”

CORE CEO Ann Lee, who joined Penn at J/P HRO in 2016, credits the success of the organization to Penn and his way of thinking. “It’s been organic and stems from Sean being a very audacious outsider. He asks, ‘Why isn’t this happening?’ It sounds so obvious, but the international community does not normally think in those terms. … Sean has been our fearless leader and we are reflecting his vision and what he’s been dreaming about since he first went down there. We’re not doing this alone. We’re getting support from bad ass people.”

As part of the expansion, Lee adds that by the end of the first quarter, the organization will announce an expanded board, while longtime board members like Penn and CAA’s Bryan Lourd will continue to serve. Also expected: new staffers and strategic partnerships with other nonprofits to provide emergency services in low-income neighborhoods and at risk areas.  Continue reading

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