When there’s injustice or corruption or poverty or a war against climate change occurring, it’s not uncommon to find Avaaz on the front lines. At its heart, Avaaz is a US-based organization that promotes activism on a global scale against issues like climate change, human rights, animal rights, corruption, poverty, and conflict. It works to give a single voice to the many. Its power comes from acquiring activists all across the world who network and provide assistance for one another to make change happen now. Its very name is a transliteration of the word “voice.” The President and CEO of Avaaz is Ricken Patel who studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford University. It was at Harvard University where he received his Masters in Public Policy. After graduation, he joined the International Crisis Group where he received experience in convincing rebel forces to negotiate, monitoring elections covertly, and restoring faith in an area where corruption ran rampant.
Patel, later on, worked for MoveOn.org where he learned the power of the online world for activism. With an emphasis on only taking money from, individual, members and never from foundations or corporations, Avaaz has been able to fund campaigns that cover the issues they wish to raise attention towards. While they do not claim to have a single ideology that they follow, Patel has stated that they have a mission which is to narrow the gap between what the world is now and the world that they want to live in. Their tools vary. Sometimes, they stage sit-ins or rallies or even perform media-friendly stunts. Most of these ideas come from the members themselves, and when an idea is selected, team specialists help guide the idea into action. An example of their work was in 2009 during the Iranian presidential election protests.
To help protestors expand their word and issues out to the world, Avaaz helped to install proxy servers on their Internet. This allowed the protesters to upload videos of the protests to public websites, which gained further attention to the issues at hand.They had a hand in helping the civilians during the Syrian Civil War. They managed to smuggle in medical supplies for the citizens who were trapped in the war zones. In addition, they managed to smuggle in journalists who could give authentic reports on what was going on in Syria.If there’s a crisis or movement against injustice happening, Avaaz is there to give its support to the people who are fighting for a better world. Whether it be about corruption, climate change, human or animal rights, they utilize all of their resources to fight for the betterment of humankind and humanity as a whole.