Today I stumbled upon an article in the Huffington Post about a unique website that allows people to unite behind a common cause. Change.org allows individuals to launch online petitions at no cost and promote any issue that he or she chooses (as long as it doesn’t promote violence or bigotry). The website hosts a variety of issues — from human trafficking and criminal justice to health and sustainable food. In addition to publishing petitions, Change.org provides a variety of tools for social activists, including step-by-step guides for petition writing, online promotion, and audience targeting. The ultimate mission of Change.org is to build an international network of people empowered to fight for what’s right locally, nationally, and globally.
What most impresses me about Change.org is its message of empowerment. The organization provides an approach to activism that is accessible to everyone. While many people may be passionate about a specific cause, they may feel powerless to make a difference or feel unsure about steps forward to reaching their goal. Change.org not only provides an easy way for people to get the word out about an issue, but they also provide resources to help people communicate those issues in the most effective way possible and introduce them to other people and organizations who share similar goals and passions. Each step of the way, activists can feel supported and encouraged that they can make a difference.
Change.org recognizes that each petition serves a larger vision: “Each victory doesn’t just overcome an isolated case of inequality or injustice — it allows people to view important issues through a tangible, often personal lens, inspiring them to take further action and helping to build the deep commitment, connections, and momentum necessary to make ever-larger change possible.”
Organizations like Change.org provide realistic paths for us to move from “idea to action, from talk to walk and from dreaming to doing.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lavaille-lavette/change-org_b_961400.html)
If you know of other innovative resources for social action, be sure to comment!