Want to make your mark and change world for the better? This is your yellow pages.
Last year, we wrote a comprehensive breakdown of the six stages of social activism with the aim of really fleshing out an enigmatic concept that has more relevance today than ever before. Lucky for you guys, change is our bread and butter here at Thred, and we’re all about spreading the truth.
Step by step in Social Activism: six steps to get you started, we dug into the specifics of how best to get informed on the worthiest causes, while providing a roadmap to effecting citizenry change at government level. This is the ultimate guide to growing your activist network on the fly.
Whether you’re here with a specific cause in mind, or are still figuring out what you’re most passionate about and what moves you most, we’ve done the hard yards scouring the web for the most influential and inspiring organisations across the globe, so you don’t have to. Macro your email address to your keyboard now, because you’re going to want to subscribe to a ton of these.
Positive social change
As we previously mentioned, social change is an esoteric concept comprised of literally hundreds of different aspirations and agendas, but when stripped down to the bare bones, the general term refers to the coming together of likeminded people in order to alter social institutions, behaviours, or relations for the better.
If you’re new to this, don’t run before you can walk. Spend some time getting familiar with these organisations and the great work they do – this will become the nucleus of your activist network and may just ignite that inner fire you’ve been searching for.
Global Citizen, Do Something, We, UN Sustainable Development Goals, Impactr
Climate change & the environment
It’s a worrying sign of the times when it takes a global pandemic to bring emission levels down by a significant margin for the first time in over a decade, but that’s the reality of where we’re at.
In the midst of what is undoubtedly a global emergency, economic figureheads claim to fight the good fight while persisting with environmentally dangerous business models for maximum profit. And we’re now reliant on a new generation of eco warriors to provide us with transparency and practical solutions going forward.
Thankfully, when it comes to climate activists and grass roots movements, we have enough knowledge to win a round of Tenable five times over. After all, what good is it fighting for the righteousness of the planet and its people while the planet itself is dying?
Green Climate Fund, 350.org, C40 Cities, World Meteorological Organisation, Fridays for Future, This is Zero Hour, SumOfUs, Believe Earth, Force of Nature
Renewable & alternative energy
While we’ve touched on the devastating impact that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are having on our climate, we’ve yet to discuss the knock-on effect to delicate agricultures across the world and their people. Today, 1 in 9 lack access to electricity, 1 in 3 lack access to clean cooking, and 1 in 10 have no means of generating clean water. And this can be attributed largely to our continued use of fossil fuels and refusal to invest in renewable industries.
Developing renewable means of energy could be the key to a future in which rural communities don’t just get by, but prosper. By integrating micro generation initiatives, those currently suffering can become self-sustainable and will have daily access to essential supplies, as well as quality schooling and job opportunities. Profit should never come above people, but it appears some of the powers that be don’t see it that way.
Climate Investment Funds, UN Environment Programme
Clean water & sanitation
Unicef estimate that today there are around 2.4 billion people who have no means of clean sanitation, and 663 million who are forced to use dirty water for cooking and drinking. Outside the reach of major conurbations, these victims of circumstance have no choice but to make do with natural sources at close proximity, running the risk of catching often perilous diseases like cholera and dysentery.
The living in constant fear of damaging yourself and your family is distressing enough, but a lack of clean water and sanitation also has a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods. Women as young as eight have to walk miles on a daily basis to collect as much water as they can carry. Survival is the ultimate priority, and as a result future prospects and education have to take a backseat. That’s just not fair.
WaterAid, UN Environment Programme, Akvo.org, World Health Organisation, Our World in Data, TOSCHOPE, UN Sustainable Development Goals
Plastic waste & ocean conservation
It’s troubling to think that 79% of the plastic waste ever created still exists in our environment today. Whether we’re talking landfill sights, coastlines, or delicate marine ecosystems, plastic pollution has fast become a global menace we simply must eradicate in the next decade.
While attitudes are finally turning against the production of single-use plastics, 32% of waste items we use still end up in general waste. Huge corporations are waking up to the reality that they may have to clean up their means of production to keep consumers onside, but the lines are often blurred between legitimate campaigns and greenwashing gimmicks.
That’s why it’s down to movements and organisations such as these to protect the planet with absolute impunity. Here are some of the biggest innovators and visionaries working toward global clean-ups and sustainable solutions right now.
WasteAid, Plastic Oceans, NRDC, Greenpeace, WWF – Panda.org, Sea Save, Marine Conservation Society, SurfersAgainstSewage, Oceana, UN Environment Programme, Byebyeplasticebags
You probably didn’t know this, but airborne pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today; eclipsing the toll of AIDs, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. Understandably, COVID-19 remains the chief enemy as the world unites to quell the spread of the virus. But according to environmental economists, the freezing of industrial businesses has likely saved tens of thousands of would-be victims from fatal pollution poisoning.
However, when the world inevitably hits the play button on its industries, it’s those below the poverty line that will suffer most again. Without the financial means to protect themselves, families residing in inadequate living spaces will be forced to inhale poor quality air and will run the risk of becoming another victim of pollution’s human capital.
There are some truly inspiring movements dedicated to ensuring this doesn’t happen. Here’s where you can get informed and/or involved.
The World Bank, UN Environment Programme, Paid to Pollute
We can take encouragement from recent statistics, which display a widespread urgency to protect terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity. Forest loss is slowing down – after the catastrophic fires that ravaged Brazil and Australia in the last two years – and prior to lockdown, we were funnelling more financial fire-power than ever before into combatting soil erosion, illicit poaching, and wildlife trafficking – especially when it comes to endangered species.
However, our improved efforts don’t mean we’re winning the battle by any means. The COVID-19 lockdown has paralysed revenue streams for wildlife conservations on an international scale, and protective methods are largely reliant on public donations to stay afloat. Therefore, we need to be more active now than ever before if we don’t want years of work to be undone.
World Land Trust, Rainforest Foundation, Fibershed, United for Wildlife, Cool Earth, ON A MISSION
Equality & human rights
Whether we’re talking racial justice, access to quality education, youth employment, homelessness and poverty, gender and LGBTQ equality, human rights, or migration and refugee aid, the ultimate goal is to ensure that everyone can live in a world with equal prosperity and freedom.
Truthfully, this section is comprehensive enough to merit its own list, but at its core it incarnates the human ideal of closing the gap between the haves and have nots, and scrapping the arbitrary labels tethered to different groups of society. Everyone deserves to live their lives free of fear and prejudice, and if we make progress towards improving this smorgasbord of causes this could one day become a reality.
Imagine that, people from all walks of life having an equal standing and being judged solely by their character and integrity, their moral compass, and professional merit. Nothing else. It’s a seriously tall order, granted. But that isn’t going to stop us chipping away at the iceberg. Check our Thred 100, we’re Gen Activist after all.
Racial & social justice
Amnesty International, Black Lives Matter, Equal Justice Initiative, Black Futures Lab, Gyrl Wonder, ActBlue, Campaign Zero, CUAPB, American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Constitutional Rights, NAACP, Advocacy Academy, Colour of Change, The Black Curriculum
Access to quality education
PLAN International, Global Citizen, We, UN Sustainable Development Goals
Youth Opportunities, The Youth Group, Solutions For Youth Employment
Homelessness & poverty
Social Bite, Crisis, ONE, Homeless World Cup, Global Care, The World Bank
Street Cramps, PERIOD, Pink Protest, Global Citizen, Bloody Good Period
Gender equality & human rights
All Out, Amnesty International, Under the Same Sun, UN Sustainable Development Goals
GATE, OutRight Action International, American Civil Liberties Union, Stonewall, GLAAD, Amnesty International, PLAN International, Mermaids
Refugee aid & migration
RefuAid, Help Refugees, Global Exchange, The Nation, Global Human Rights, Unicef, Choose Love, Movement on the Ground, Refugee Council, Refugee Action