Thursday, June 5, 2008
Top 10 Activist Groups:
If it weren’t for concerned, motivated and active groups of people taking a stand and taking action all the gains in human, environmental, and animal rights would not have been made. As Margaret Mead famously said;
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
So here is a compilation of 10 of the best activist organizations from around the globe in no particular order.
1. (IFAT) International Fair Trade Association
The stated mission of IFAT is to improve the livelihoods and well being of disadvantaged producers by linking and promoting Fair Trade Organizations, and speaking out for greater justice in world trade.
IFAT highlights fair trading practices and shows how a successful business can also put people first. They are actively engaged in dialogues with political decision makers on making international trade fairer and mainstream businesses more aware of their social responsibility.
Those businesses contributing to sustainable development can be recognised by the FTO Mark.
2. (PETA) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
PETA, founded in 1980, is an international non-profit charitable organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, with affiliates in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, India, and the Asia-Pacific Region. With more than 1.8 million members and supporters, it is the largest animal rights organization in the world.
PETA is dedicated to defending the rights of animals by focusing its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most: on factory farms, in laboratories, in the clothing trade, and in the entertainment industry.
Through investigative work, congressional involvement, consumer boycotts, and international media coverage, PETA operate under the ethos that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.
“Greenpeace exists because this fragile Earth deserves a voice. It needs solutions. It needs change. It needs action.”
Greenpeace has been campaigning against environmental degradation since 1971 and is an independent organization present in 40 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific whose core mission is to change attitudes and seeks solutions to protect and conserve the environment.
To maintain its independence, Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments or corporations but relies on contributions from individual supporters and foundation grants.
4. (NOW) National Organization for Women
Founded in 1966, NOW is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States, with over 500,000 contributing members.
The goal of the organization is to campaign for equality and justice for all women in areas such as reproductive rights, workplace discrimination and harassment, violence against women, homophobia, racism and all other forms of discrimination against women.
5. American Atheists
Founded in 1963, by Madalyn Murray O'Hair, American Atheists has been the premier organization dedicated to the civil liberties of Atheists, and the total, absolute separation of church and state.
The organization defends the rights of intellectuals such as writer Salman Rushdie, protests the use of government funds to support public religious displays, publishes books about Atheism and preserves Atheist literature and history in the nation's largest archive of its kind.
Adbusters describes itself as “…a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age. Our aim is to topple existing power structures and forge a major shift in the way we will live in the 21st century.”
Founded in 1989 and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Adbusters is a not-for-profit, reader-supported, 120,000-circulation magazine and culture jamming movement. Culture jamming is a form of non-violent protest, public activism and a resistance to commercialism, using guerrilla communication to subvert mass media.
7. (SSCS) Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
SSCS was established in 1977 in Vancouver BC, Canada, whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.
It is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization with members who call themselves eco-pirates. Their direct-action methods are used to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas to safeguard the ocean biodiversity.
8. (AWID) Association for Women’s Rights in Development
AWID was founded in 1982 and is an international membership organization connecting, informing and mobilizing people and organizations committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women's human rights.
In an attempt to improve the lives of women AWID facilitates debates and builds the capacities of organizations working for women’s empowerment and social justice. They aim to cause policy, institutional and individual change.
9. (HRC) Human Rights Campaign
Founded in 1980, by Steve Endean, HRC is the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, representing more than 700,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC works to create a fair environment for the glbt community where people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
10. (WWF) World Wide Fund for Nature
Founded in 1961, WWF is one of the largest environmental organizations in the world. Their mission statement is:
To stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:
· conserving the world's biological diversity
· ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
· promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.