These are just a handful organizations that you can get involved with at the national and global level. The organizations here are largely grassroots, member organizations with a strong emphasis on building solidarity with the global South and promoting alternative visions of “development.”
Have a suggestion for a group to add to this list? Comment here!
Global Justice Organizations
Agriculture and Food
Food First – Institute for Food and Development Policy analyzes the root causes of global hunger, poverty, and ecological degradation and develops solutions in partnership with movements working for social change.
La Via Campesina is the international movement which brings together millions of peasants, small and medium-size farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. It defends small-scale sustainable agriculture as a way to promote social justice and dignity. It strongly opposes corporate driven agriculture and transnational companies that are destroying people and nature.
La Via Campesina comprises about 150 local and national organizations in 70 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Altogether, it represents about 200 million farmers. It is an autonomous, pluralist and multicultural movement, independent from any political, economic or other type of affiliation.
Climate & Environmental Justice
Blue Planet Project is an international civil society movement begun by The Council of Canadians to protect the world’s fresh water from the growing threats of trade and privatization.We work with organizations and activists in both South and North, and are affiliated with international networks including Friends of the Earth International, Red Vida (the Americas Network on the Right to Water) and the People’s Health Movement.
Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) is an organization that explores economic growth in earnest, including its downsides. We refuse to ignore the costs of economic growth, and our position sets the record straight. We recognize the conflict between economic growth and various goals for society, and we stand up for rational macroeconomic policies. Continuous economic growth on a finite planet is wishful thinking. We confront the truth that there are limits to growth, and we examine other possibilities for managing our economic affairs.
Climate Justice Now! is a network of organisations and movements from across the globe committed to the fight for genuine solutions to the climate crisis. We are committed to building a diverse movement – locally and globally – for social, ecological and gender justice.
Energy Action Coalition is a coalition of 50 youth-led environmental and social justice groups working together to build the youth clean energy and climate movement. Working with hundreds of campus and youth groups, dozens of youth networks, and hundreds of thousands of young people, Energy Action Coalition and its partners have united a burgeoning movement behind winning local victories and coordinating on state, regional, and national levels in the United States and Canada.
also see We Are Powershift -a hub for the youth-led climate justice movement.
Friends of the Earth International is the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, uniting 76 national member groups and some 5,000 local activist groups on every continent. With over 2 million members and supporters around the world, we campaign on today’s most urgent environmental and social issues. We challenge the current model of economic and corporate globalization, and promote solutions that will help to create environmentally sustainable and socially just societies. Find out more about the group nearest you in our groups pages. United States Chapter here.
Indigenous Environmental Network is an alliance of grassroots indigenous Peoples whose mission is to protect the sacredness of Mother Earth from contamination and exploitation by strengthening, maintaining, and respecting traditional teachings and natural laws.
Post Growth is a catalyst for identifying, inspiring and implementing new approaches to global well-being. We are an international network of young people committed to tackling the cause, rather than the symptoms, of a myriad of social and environmental problems to create a positive world future that does not depend on economic growth.
SustainUS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of young people advancing sustainable development and youth empowerment in the United States. Through proactive education, research, and advocacy at the policy-making and grassroots levels, we are building a future in which all people recognize the inherent equality and interdependence of social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
Debt & Fair Trade
Citizens Trade Campaign (CTC) is a broad and diverse national coalition of environmental, labor, consumer, family farm, religious, and other civil society groups founded in 1992 to oppose the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
CTC is a leading advocacy vehicle to fight for trade policy that serves the interests of a majority of the world’s people, instead of the self-serving agenda of multinational corporations.
Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch seeks to ensure that in this era of globalization, all Americans can enjoy economic security, a clean environment, safe food, medicines and products, access to quality affordable services such as health care and the exercise of democratic decision-making in matters that affect them and their communities.
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 religious denominations and faith communities, human rights, environmental, labor, and community groups working for the definitive cancellation of crushing debts to fight poverty and injustice in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace (ESJP) is a network of academics, practitioners, and students in a range of disciplines related to engineering, social justice, and peace. Our approach works toward engineering practices that enhance gender, racial, class, and cultural equity and are democratic, non-oppressive, and non-violent. We seek to better understand the relationships between engineering practices and the contexts that shape those practices, with the purpose of promoting local-level community empowerment through engineering problem solving, broadly conceived.
General Advocacy and Solidarity
Alliance for Global Justice works to achieve social change and economic justice by helping to build a stronger more unified grassroots movement. We recognize that the concentration of wealth and power is the root cause of oppression requiring us to work together across ideologies, issues and communities. The Alliance nurtures organizations seeking fundamental change in international and national conditions that disempower people, create disparities in access to wealth and power, poison the earth, and plunder its resources.We support locally-based grassroots organizing by sharing political analysis, mobilizing for direct action, monitoring the centers of corporate and government power, expanding channels of communication, and sharing skills and infrastructure. Our commitment to solidarity and to non-hierarchical democratic process enables us to respectfully listen and respond to each other within the movement.
Alternatives’ mission is to create a world where international solidarity, environmental rights, democratic rights and human dignity are universally respected. Alternatives knows that a world of such societies is possible. We know this because we have already seen so much progress since our founding in 1994, thanks to dozens of projects and campaigns with allies in numerous social movements, over a thousand interns, countless volunteers and a dedicated and caring staff, all of whom are determined to see our mission succeed.
Center for Global Justice is a multi-cultural, democratically organized service, learning, and research center. Through our support of the social and solidarity economy, our public education programs, and our research collaborations we seek to empower ordinary people to work to create a more socially and economically just world.
Global Exchange is a non-profit international human rights organization that has accumulated almost a quarter century of experience and action for peace, fairness, and environmental sustainability and justice. We are tackling some of the most critical issues of our time— from limiting corporate power and greed to oil addiction and global climate change, from the exploitation of the current global economy to the creation of the local green economy. Our campaigns inspire people across the U.S. and around the world to resist injustice, envision alternatives, and take action.
Grassroots International works around the world to help small farmers and other small producers, indigenous peoples and women win resource rights: the human rights to land, water and food. We are a funder that supports community-led initiatives and movements worldwide, with special focus in Brazil, Haiti, Mesoamerica and the Middle East. We also partner with global networks like the Via Campesina, which includes more than 150 million small farmers and farm workers organizing in 70 nations. We are an advocate for social justice, working with U.S.-based allies to move public policy toward justice and fairness, particularly trade, climate and food/agriculture policies.
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) is a national alliance of grassroots organizations building a popular movement for peace, democracy and a sustainable world. We support each other’s local struggles and collaborate with international allies who share our vision and commitment to building a transformative social justice movement beyond borders.
Other Worlds is a women-driven, multi-media education and movement-building collaborative. Other Worlds inspires hope and knowledge that another world is possible, and helps build it. We compile and bring to light political, economic, social, and environmental alternatives that are flourishing throughout the world, and inspire and help the public throughout the Americas open up new pathways to adapt and replicate them. We support the global movements that are propelling the alternatives. In the U.S., we seek to draw in new participants and strengthen existent efforts for economic justice, environmentally sound systems, and meaningful democracy.
TransAfrica is an educational and organizing center that encourages human interest viewpoints in the U.S. foreign policy arena and advocates for justice for the people of Africa and the African diaspora. TransAfrica creates solidarity between Americans and communities most affected by U.S. policies throughout the world. TransAfrica supports human rights, gender equity, democracy, and sustainable economic and environmental development.
World Development Movement (WDM) is a UK-based anti-poverty campaigning organisation. We have a worldwide reputation for tackling hard-hitting, controversial issues. We believe a fairer world is possible if together we take action. Just as campaigners stopped the transatlantic slave trade and won women the vote, we can end global inequality. We lobby decision-makers, organise public campaigning and produce robust research to win change for the world’s poorest people. We investigate, expose and challenge government policies and corporate actions that harm vulnerable communities and trap people in poverty.
Indigenous Rights and Culture
Survival International is the only organization working for tribal peoples’ rights worldwide. We work with hundreds of tribal communities and organizations. We are funded almost entirely by concerned members of the public and some foundations. Our vision is for a world where tribal peoples are recognized and respected; an end to the unjust treatment tribal peoples are subjected to; and a world where tribal peoples are free to live on their own lands, safe from violence, oppression and exploitation.
School of the Americas (SOA) Watch is an independent organization that seeks to close the US Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work. Today, the SOA Watch movement is a large, diverse, grassroots movement rooted in solidarity with the people of Latin America. The goal of SOA Watch is to close the SOA and to change U.S. foreign policy in Latin America by educating the public, lobbying Congress and participating in creative, nonviolent resistance.
Sweatshops & Labor
Academic Centers, Networks, Think Tanks, and Education
Bretton Woods Project focuses on the World Bank and the IMF to challenge their power, open policy space, and promote alternative approaches. We do this because these institutions are influential funders, proponents and enforcers of economic and development policies, and global opinion formers.We serve as an information provider, watchdog, networker and advocate. We provide information for the benefit of civil society groups, official institutions, research institutes, governments and parliaments across the world. The project acts as a network hub in the UK and works with civil society – in Europe and internationally – to change the Bank and the Fund.
Institute for Social Ecology has been a pioneer in the exploration of ecological approaches to food production, alternative technologies, and urban design, and has played an essential, catalytic role in movements to challenge nuclear power, global injustices and unsustainable biotechnologies, while building participatory, community-based alternatives. The Institute strives to be an agent of social transformation, demonstrating the skills, ideas and relationships that can nurture vibrant, self-governed, healthy communities.
Intellectual Network for the South (INSouth) embodies an understanding, from a South perspective, of the new and emerging issues in the international arena, and the challenges and opportunities they pose for the South. The Network brings together intellectuals from the global South amongst policymakers, research and academia, the media, the private sector and civil society. INSouth aims to serve as a reference point for the South for: (1) Analysis of existing development paradigms, imbalances in the current global system, and the limits they pose to the development and policy space of the South. (2) Alternative solutions that address the development needs and priorities of the South. (3) Promoting new forms of South-South and South-North cooperation.
International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide. Our emphasis is on education for action: moving beyond single issues to look at the more fundamental influences that shape our lives.
North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1966 that works toward a world in which the nations and peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean are free from oppression and injustice, and enjoy a relationship with the United States based on mutual respect, free from economic and political subordination. To that end, our mission is to provide information and analysis on the region, and on its complex and changing relationship with the United States, as tools for education and advocacy – to foster knowledge beyond borders.
Transnational Institute (TNI) was founded in 1974 as the international programme of the Washington DC-based Institute for Policy Studies. For more than 30 years, TNI’s history has been entwined with the history of global social movements and their struggle for economic, social and environmental justice.
Third World Network (TWN) is an independent non-profit international network of organisations and individuals involved in issues relating to development, developing countries and North-South affairs. Its mission is to bring about a greater articulation of the needs and rights of peoples in the South, a fair distribution of world resources, and forms of development which are ecologically sustainable and fulfill human needs.