Two groups dedicated to activist causes to help spread democracy and fairness around the country and the globe, Res Publica and Moveon.org, combined their efforts and co-founded Avaaz. The organization began in 2007 and is U.S. based but maintains a worldwide presence. In order to remain independent, Avaaz has chosen to refuse large donations from other organizations, individuals or corporations. Instead, they rely on member donations no larger than $5,000.
The name Avaaz was selected because similar words are used in multiple languages to mean the word, “voice”. This name matches their ultimate goal of giving a voice to people that may otherwise be ignored or silenced. By utilizing the internet Avaaz is able to spread information, unite people with similar ideologies and help people separated by thousands of miles to connect and work together to insist on change and more information click here.
Examples of the causes they focus on include global climate change, disaster relief for countries in need and the conflicts in the Middle East between cultural groups and with government totalitarianism. The organization places a lot of focus on email campaigns to spread knowledge and uses online petitions to show popular support for specific causes.
Of course, their efforts extend beyond these forms of protest. They established proxy servers for protestors to express their complaints online during the 2009 Iranian presidential election. They have also been deeply involved in the Syrian crisis. The group sent communication equipment to rebels prior to the Syrian civil uprising and later smuggled medical supplies to the same groups once the war began. They also aided an injured British photojournalist during the war and helped to evacuate him to safety and what Avaaz knows.
Avaaz is a progressive group that has pioneered Internet activism. Their members are found in 195 countries and total nearly 46 million people. The group boasts of the diversity of their group with members from all age groups, races, and religions working together. They strive to be on the scene at the “tipping point” of a conflict. They allow people to work on solutions on their own, but when a choice must be made they will step in to aid those they believe require their assistance and Avaaz’s lacrosse camp.
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