Launched in January 2007, Avaaz is a global civic organization dedicated to promoting activism in a variety of sectors including human rights, animal rights, poverty, climate change, and more. Although the organization is based in the United States, Avaaz operates on an international scale.
The name Avaaz is a Persian word derived from “voice”, connotating that the group is designed to give people a voice to speak out in their activism. The group uses myriad of methods to raise awareness and help its cause including petitions, demonstrations, and its support of people and groups representing common ideals. The overwhelming majority of groundwork is done via email and other internet-based applications.
Co-founded by Res Publica and Move.Org, Avaaz.org took off quickly thanks to its backing by two prominent agents of change. The current board of directors consists of President Ricken Patel, Ian Bassin, and Sam Barratt. Other founding members included former Virginia congressman Tom Perriello and Australian progressive business leader David Madden.
The goal of Avaaz is to unite practical idealists from all over the globe in an effort to bring about real change. Some of its core initiatives include taking on the practices of Monsanto and encouraging support on a large scale for refugees. One controversial stance was the organization’s support of establishing no-fly zones over war-torn Libya and Syria.
Not one to shy away from politics, Avaaz was vocal in its opposition of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. The organization does not take donations from corporations or businesses and instead relies on individual contributions, as part of its goal to not be tied to any political ideologies or corporate lobbyist groups.
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