Sean Penn, award-winning actor, director and humanitarian. (Photo from NPR)

PEMBROKE, N.C. — Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn is no stranger to the Lumbee Tribe in North Carolina. After Hurricane Florence ravaged the Carolinas in September 2018, Penn’s nonprofit  CORE and Chef Jose Andres’ organization World Central Kitchen delivered meals to tribal citizens of the Lumbee, based in Pembroke.

Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting normal lives worldwide, Penn once again is renewing his commitment to feed the Lumbee elderly. He appeared on a CNN town hall hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta where he announced CORE’s assistance.

“We are handling food distribution there, particularly to the elderly,” Penn said as he participated in the CNN town hall.  

Harvey Godwin, Jr., tribal chairman of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, acknowledged Penn’s assistance in a YouTube video that was released by the tribe to update its tribal citizens about the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The effort to provide services for our elders is a continuation of the collaboration with CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) which began in 2018 after Hurricane Florence,” Godwin said to Native News Online on Monday.

A spokesperson for Lumbee Tribe says Penn’s current effort to provide assistance is in its early stages, and the Tribe is pleased with his continued commitment to the Lumbee people.

Sean Penn with Lumbee Tribe Chairman Godwin in September 2018 when Penn assisted the Lumbee Tribe in aftermath of Hurricane Florence. (Photo courtesy of Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina)

Penn visited Pembroke in September 2018 after Hurricane Florence. His nonprofit provided assistance with food and other needed supplies in the storm’s aftermath. 

Penn started CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) in 2010 to assist the people of Haiti after the island was devastated by an earthquake. CORE mobilized a network of doctors, emergency workers and government officials to take action. 

An accomplished actor and director, Penn has a long career in the entertainment industry. He won two Academy Awards for Best Actor for Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008).

Support Independent Indigenous Journalism

Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission:  We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country.  We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.

Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. 
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online Staff