Avaaz – Promoting Global Activism

Avaaz is a civic organization in the US that started in January of 2007. The organization advocates for world activism, focusing on various issues such as human rights, climate change, conflict, poverty, corrupt, and animal rights. It is termed the most powerful and largest online activist network.

Avaaz world campaigns are managed by a group of activists who operate from more than 30 countries, including Brazil, Lebanon, UK, and India. The managers converse to members using emails and apply campaigning tactics such as videos, online public petitions, and “email-your-leader” tools. In some cases, Avaaz applies the legal advice from various commissions and make advertisements to clarify the best way of making campaigns and carry out their plans for phone-ins, rallies, sit-ins and media-friendly stunts.

The suggestions for carrying campaigns come from the organization members before being evaluated by specialists. When they come with “potential” suggestions, emails are sent to all the Avaaz members. The members go through the emails, and if the suggestion gets enough support, Avaaz plans for a campaign and all members are notified.

Avaaz was co-founded by Res Publica and MoveOn organizations. Res Publica is a group of public sector specialists who are committed to promoting good governance, deliberative democracy, and civic virtue while MoveOn is an American non-profit advocacy group focusing on progressive public policy. MoveOn was also given support by the founding partner, Service Employees International Union.

Individual co-founders of Avaaz include Tom Pravda, Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello – the former Virginia congressman, Eli Pariser – MoveOn executive director, David Madden – Australia progressive entrepreneur, and Andrea Woodhouse.

Ricken Patel is the organization’s executive director and founding president. Avaaz has not been receiving donations, which are more than $5000 since 2009 and depends on contributions from individual members. Avaaz unites practical idealists from all corners of the globe and supports issues that are termed as progressive, which include climate change and establishing of bigger support for refugees, among others.

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