Avaaz is a nonprofit which was launched in New York City in 2007. While it is based in the United States it supports activism around the world. The main issues Avaaz is focused on include climate change, poverty, conflict, animal rights, and human rights. Mainly it is involved in online activities but it does support in-person protests as well.
This organization, found at Avaaz.org, was co-founded by two other nonprofits, Res Publica and Moveon.org, as well as the Service Employees International Union. Avaaz, which means “voice” in a number of different languages, is led by its President and Executive Director Ricken Patel. He is of Canadian-British descent and attended Harvard University where he earned his Masters in Public Policy. Before joining Avaaz as a founder, Ricken Patal was with International Crisis Group which seeks to end internal conflicts around the world including in countries like Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Liberia.
Avaaz is made up of what Patel calls “practical idealists”. The organization doesn’t have any particular ideology outside of making the world a better place for the people and animals that inhabit it. However, it tends to be progressive policies that they most often support as those are the ones that are generally for human rights, animal rights, and agree that climate change is largely the result of human activities.
One of the campaigns that Avaaz is currently supporting is the cleanup of the world’s oceans. There are huge swathes of the ocean which are covered in plastics that have entered the ocean. The mass of this plastic is killing wildlife and killing virtually all life underneath the masses as they cut off sunlight. Another new campaign is to one to shut down the gay torture centers that exist in countries like Russia and other repressive regimes.
For more information follow Avaaz on Twitter.