Avaaz, the Global Leading Foundation of Progressive Activism

Avaaz, named after the Persian word, “avaz”, which basically means “voice”. They are one of the largest and most powerful activist networks in existence today. They touch on issues that are considered progressive such as animal and human rights, government corruption, poverty, and various global conflicts. The organization has several co-founders, including Ricken Patel, MoveOn’s executive director, Eli Pariser, and Andrea Woodhouse.

Patel is the founding president and executive director. He has an educational background in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University and earned a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard. Afterward, he volunteered with the International Crisis Group, with whom he traveled the globe doing diplomatic work with enemy rebel forces. He later volunteered for MoveOn.org, with whom he learned how to incorporate online tools with activism. Avaaz’s website group, avaaz.org was founded by Res Publica and MoveOn.org.

Avaaz has not been taking corporate or foundation donations since 2009. Instead, they rely almost exclusively on individual donors. They have managed to raise $20 million this way. They are now managed by teams of campaigners from around the globe who give advice activist techniques, such as petitions, videos, rallies, and sit-ins. To know more about Avaaz click here.

Some of the movements that they are currently the most involved in are the global call for action against climate change, maintaining a free and open internet for all people, and saving refugees. They are also in the movement to Resist Trump and voted against him during the 2016 election. They have also developed software to make the voting process more simple overseas.