Pitt and Ellen DeGeneres will host the event, which will feature performances by Rihanna, Sheryl Crow, the Neville Brothers and Seal. Host Committee members for the event include Djimon Hounsou, Spike Lee, Blake Lively, Bennett Miller, Chris and Jada Paul, Sean Penn and Kevin Spacey.
Randy Jackson and Wendell Pierce will co-host the performance event. Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari will host the after-party.
The charity gala at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans will not only raise funds for Hurricane Katrina victims, but will also promote Make It Right’s work to provide sustainable housing in Newark, NJ and Kansas City, MO for disabled veterans and disadvantaged communities.
Pitt created his Make It Right Foundation in 2007, and through it began building environmentally friendly homes at a competitive price. He organized 21 architectural firms to construct 150 single-family houses and duplexes in New Orleans and gave millions in donations.
He marvels at the result, having seen poor families living healthy lives with manageable bills. “It’s remarkable,” he told The Hollywood Reporter, “and now we want to take what we’ve learned and expand to other parts of the U.S. and abroad.”
Regarding the devastation in the Ninth Ward, Pitt felt “there was a responsibility to make it right, which was not being answered wholly, so I decided to make that a focal point and help families return home — and in the process we started discovering the inadequacies in low-income housing, that it actually keeps a family trapped at a low-income level. There are a lot of shoddy appliances that drive up utility bills to hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and that can make or break a family.”