Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are a pair of Phoenix, Arizona area journalists who have developed a sterling track record for fighting for civil rights issues since the 1970s. They are the co-founders and top executives at the Phoenix New Times. Lacey and Larkin are also the founders of the Frontera Fund which serves to provide funding to valuable civil rights organizations across Arizona and the U.S.A.
The fund came into being after Michael and Jim won their lawsuit against Maricopa County, Arizona and its former sheriff, the infamous Joe Arpaio after they were wrongfully arrested in 2007 in retaliation for being a thorn in the corrupt sheriff’s side.
The $3.7 million settlement the journalists received was put into use funding important civil rights causes that do amazing work. Two of these amazing organizations funded by the Frontera Fund are the Colibrí Center for Human Rights and Justice That Works.
The Colibrí Center for Human Rights has a mission to help migrant families who have had family members go missing with its Missing Migrant Project. The southern border of the United States is littered with the unidentified remains of migrants who were crossing the border or trying to avoid apprehension.
The migrant death toll remains high even as the overall trend of unauthorized immigration in the United States trends downward. The reason for this issue is that migrants often perish as they undertake the increasingly hazardous and isolated terrains of the borderlands that are necessary to cross in order to avoid detection.
Unidentified remains have been collected and stored in massive refrigeration units with the families of the deceased waiting for years before they receive any word of what happened.
With massive improvements in forensic science, the Missing Migrant Project can collect forensic reports from families of missing persons and then coordinate with groups and forensic anthropologists to gather and track data on those dead or missing along the entirety of the United States-Mexico border.
The Colibrí Center for Human Rights has a mission to fight for the lives of migrants and reminding people that their lives matter. The organization’s other mission is to help families who are desperate for resolution in regard to their loved ones. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Twitter
Justice That Works was founded by attorney Heather Hamel. The organization is a nonprofit group devoted to a re-imagining of the punitive justice system in the state of Arizona as well as empowering communities so that they can become safer.
Arizona has one of the fastest growing and largest prison populations in the United States and incarcerates more black individuals per capita than any other state in the country.
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was infamous for his profiling of racial minorities and his abuses of human rights. The Phoenix police department has a reputation as one of the most violent in the nation. Changing these facts is at the core of the goals held by Justice That Works.
In 2016, Justice That Works announced that it would be opening a community court in Phoenix. Community courts have had a highly successful track record of lowered crime rates and they accomplish while managing to keep people free and saving millions of dollars.
Justice That Works is also set to launch a new safety initiative called Redefining Safety and it will be running in conjunction with the Center for Neighborhood Leadership.
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