Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the co-founders of Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media, have latterly made a bold move by donating the entire settlement money they received from a civil lawsuit they won against the county of Arizona. The donation will support organizations that fight for justice for immigrants and human rights in general.
Their generosity and commitment to the cause of justice were inspired by their first-hand experience of cruel treatment by a law enforcer. The two friends working as journalists were forcefully arrested in the middle of the night, and drag away from their homes and held in police custody for exposing proceedings of a grand jury that demanded notes by reporters that covered Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Read more: Jim Larkin | Huffington Post
This was a willful and gross violation of their First Amendment rights which they spent a lot of their time defending and asserting. The struggle they waged against the injustice finally saw the light of day in the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals when they were awarded $3.75 million compensation.
With the money, the two journalists established the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund which will be a rallying point of support for all organizations fighting for freedom of speech, migrant, civil and human rights, and participation in public roles in the Mexican – border“la línea Frontera ” and the whole of Arizona.
The Frontera Fund initiative for justice by Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey is echoed by many other organizations in the USA that are waging a constant war to create an environment of equality and fairness for everyone in America. In the war, they are not alone because human rights activists in the whole of the US are pooling their resources and money to fund movements and nonprofits that share similar objectives.
In the State of Arizona alone there are active groups such as PACH (Phoenix Allies for Community Health) which is a nonprofit led by volunteers who give free healthcare to those without insurance cover, the working people, refugees, and immigrants without documentation. The clinic in West Phoenix attends to 30-40 patients weekly. Read more: About Lacey and Larkin- Frontera Fund
Another active group is the Owl and Panther / Hopi Foundation which operates in Tucson. It is a group composed of friendly former refugees who provide a haven for newcomers with wounds and injuries that require nursing. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/12/16/proceeds-arpaio-suit-fund-asu-journalism-chair/20480479/
Many immigrants arriving in the U.S. have experienced violence, deprivation, and torture in countries facing civil war. Also in the same league with Hopi and Frontera is Justice That Works which is a nonprofit operating in the grassroots to empower communities to become healthier and safer by re-imagining the punitive justice system in Arizona.
The team at Justice That Works includes Avensa Millan, a radio show host, and immigration lawyer, and it also collaborates with Center for Neighborhood Leadership