Golden Globe winner, film producer, owner of production company Plan B Entertainment – which produced the 2007 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, The Departed -, father to six children and cited as one of the world’s most attractive men, Brad Pitt has become increasingly involved in social issues both in the United States and internationally.
A man of many talents, Pitt’s knowledgeable interest in architecture is focused on worldwide efforts to build environmentally friendly structures through sustainable architecture and design. This led him to convene a group of experts in New Orleans to brainstorm building green, affordable housing on a large scale to help those families most in need after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. That same group now formally comprises The Make It Right Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to the object of financing and constructing 150 new houses in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, rebuilding lives and communities with an emphasis on sustainability and affordability.
Thus environmental organization Global Green, a national environmental non-profit fostering a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future by reconnecting humanity with the environment, are involved in the project.
“We’ve got to push to get these levees taken care of in the correct fashion,” Pitt told reporters at a news conference in the hurricane-ravaged working class neighborhood. Pitt has committed $5 million in donations.
In October 2008, the first six homes were completed. In March 2009, Pitt met with U.S. President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, promoting his concept of “green housing” as a national model, and discussed possibilities of federal funding.
In September 2009, Pitt received an award from the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit trade organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built and operated, in recognition of the green housing concept used for the Make It Right foundation.
This steady commitment to aid humanitarian causes around the world has lead Pitt to show his heart through the giving of time and resources to countless causes. According to tax records, in 2006 alone, Pitt and Angelina Jolie donated more than $8 million to charity.
In November 2005, Pitt traveled to Pakistan with Jolie to see the impact of the Kashmir earthquake. The following year, they flew to Haiti, where they visited a school supported by The Yéle Haïti Foundation, a charity founded by Haitian-born hip hop musician Wyclef Jean, using music, sports and the media to reinforce projects that are making a difference in education, health, environment and community development. In May 2007, Pitt and Jolie donated to three relief organizations in Chad and Darfur affected by the crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region.
Along with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Jerry Weintraub, Pitt is one of the founders of Not On Our Watch, an organization that tries to focus global attention and resources to stop and prevent genocide such as that in Darfur.
In June 2009, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, dedicated to eradicating extreme rural poverty, protecting natural resources and conserving wildlife, donated to a U.N. refugee agency to help Pakistanis displaced by fighting between troops and Taliban militants. In January 2010, the foundation donated to Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971, providing aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters, for emergency medical assistance to help victims of the Haiti earthquake.
Newsweek Magazine named Pitt as one of “15 People Who Make America Great” for bringing attention to causes in Africa.