On October 18, 2002, Penn placed a US$56,000 advertisement in the Washington Post asking President George W. Bush to end a cycle of violence.
In September 2005, Penn traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, to aid Hurricane Katrina victims.
Also in 2005, Penn visited Iraq to witness humanitarian work, and presented Sister Helen Prejean with the Chief Justice Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award for her work opposing the death penalty.
Penn attended the Hollywood premier of the full-length documentary, Crude, in support of Amazon Watch who hosted the event.
Sean Penn is on Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Board of Advisors.
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