Launched back in January 2007, Avaaz quickly became the largest and one of the most influential activist networks online. It is a US based organization that promotes activism on global issues – climate change, human and animal rights, conflict, corruption, and poverty. The name of the group is of Persian origin and can be translated as voice/song. Several groups co-founded Avaaz and individuals, among them, were Res Publica, MoveOn.org, and former congressman from Virginia Tom Perriello. Ricken Patel serves as the organization’s president and also the executive director. Before creating Avaaz, Ricken Patel has been working with international crisis groups and being sent to different nations in conflict to try and resolve the problems surrounding them. He went back to the United States after working for the crisis groups and joined MoveOn.org. He managed to learn using online tools for the purpose of activism after he volunteered for MoveOn.org, and used it to launch Avaaz. Since its creation, Avaaz firmly rejects donations that are over $5000, and proudly states that members are helping out the organization by donating their money, which raised over $20 million.
Today, Avaaz campaigns around the globe are being managed by several campaigners who are working from 30 different countries and are having communications by the use of email and other social media tools. Their tactics in activism include petitions from the public and videos being uploaded to the internet. They are also using advertisement to voice out their concern and move a campaign forward, and have been staging rallies and other stunts to get the attention of the media and to express what they are fighting for to the public. Different protest suggestions are coming in from its members, and are being polled to other Avaaz members. Successful campaigns from Avaaz have managed to bring a noticeable change to countries where they have a presence, and these changes, even little ones, could bring hope to the communities who have been oppressed and have lost their faith.
Find more about Avaaz on YouTube.