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Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Donates $10 Million to Sean Penn’s COVID-19 Testing Organization

Sean Penn, Jack Dorsey
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Jeff Gilbert/Shutterstock (Dorsey)

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, has donated $10 million to CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), the coronavirus-testing organization co-founded by Sean Penn.

The donation, via Dorsey’s #StartSmall initiative, will let CORE open free COVID-19 testing sites in additional major metro areas as well as rural communities across the U.S.

CORE has operated a dozen COVID-19 test sites across California over the past five weeks and says it has completed 100,000 tests free of charge. The organization’s testing sites in Atlanta and Detroit are already operating and it will launch additional sites soon in New Orleans and the Navajo Nation. Founded by Penn and Ann Lee, CORE is focused on serving vulnerable and underserved communities, including low-income groups and communities of color, as well as first responders and essential workers.

Last month, Dorsey announced that he would allocate $1 billion of his equity in Square to charities, starting with COVID-19 relief efforts. Among other causes, Dorsey has teamed with Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) on donations to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles for domestic violence victims and for community-based organizations in the cities of Detroit and Flint, Mich.

”In our 10 years of fundraising efforts, we’ve grown cynical toward most social responsibility campaigns by major brands and corporations, with the exception of leaders like the Benioffs and Parkers,” CORE co-founder and CEO Ann Lee said in a statement. “Jack Dorsey is the other side of that coin — walking the walk of corporate sustainability — a human-driven visionary whose support we should all seek to reciprocate to ensure that his forward thinking, equitable and compassionate model paves the way for the new age.”

Dorsey commented, “CORE is an inspiring force for good. Not only in what they’re doing by increasing our testing capacity, but also by how they’re doing it. The open-source approach and work to be a model for others is exactly what this country and world needs right now.”

CORE opened its first free drive-through COVID-19 testing site in L.A. on March 30, under the leadership of the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles Fire Department. CORE is now managing a dozen testing sites across California including in Malibu, Oakland, Bakersfield and Napa County at the direction of Governor Newsom’s office and with the backing of the Rockefeller Foundation’s support and the partnerships of World Central Kitchen, Birdwell and Direct Relief. The organization’s first site outside of California opened in Atlanta on April 30 with the support of Mayor Bottoms’ office, Fulton County and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.