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Sean Penn Earns Producers Award for Social Causes

Actor Sean Penn arrives at the 14th Annual Hollywood Awards Gala in Beverly Hills, Calif., Monday, Oct. 25, 2010.
AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
Actor Sean Penn arrives at the 14th Annual Hollywood Awards Gala in Beverly Hills, Calif., Oct. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) Sean Penn is receiving an award from Hollywood producers honoring his efforts to explore social issues.

The Producers Guild of America will bestow its Stanley Kramer Award on Penn at the group's awards ceremony Jan. 22. The award is named for filmmaker Kramer, whose issue-oriented productions include "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and "The Defiant Ones."

Penn is the first individual to receive the Kramer Award. In the past, the award has been handed out for socially minded films such as "An Inconvenient Truth," "Hotel Rwanda" and Penn's own "I Am Sam."

For majority of the past year, Penn has been committed to Haiti relief efforts. Penn, who runs a camp for 50,000 displaced earthquake survivors, recently told The Hollywood Reporter that Haiti "is where I'll be when I'm not working, for the rest of my life."

Paula Wagner, chair of the Producers Guild Awards, says Penn is a committed activist who has "shed light on powerful stories, causes and individuals."