A helping hand for Hispanic community to fight against racial discrimination

The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund is a joint effort by Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin who founded Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media together. It was created to help people migrating from Latin America, residing in the United States.

The main reason behind the foundation of this organization is the incident that happened to Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin. They both were journalists living in Phoenix, Arizona who used to write and report about crimes occurring in Arizona. They were arrested from their homes one night by the sheriff of Arizona named Joe Arpaio.

He was considered as one of the toughest sheriffs of America who used to incarcerate a large number of immigrants residing illegally in Arizona. He was acknowledged by the people of Arizona as a patriotic police officer, but the truth was quite the opposite. The immigrants were not living illegally rather; it was a misconception created by Arpaio himself. He had quite a powerful influence on the people of Arizona.

But Lacey and Larkin were two courageous reporters who wanted to unravel the wrongdoings of Arpaio. So, they investigated and reported the barbarities between Hispanic community and Arpaio. They published an article in the newspaper featuring Arpaio’s misdeeds focusing on his patriarchal role, political dominance and abuse of power in Arizona.

Arpaio, who was considered very powerful couldn’t take this blow. He gave orders for the separate arrest of Lacey and Larkin. Both of them were taken into police’s custody from their homes early in the morning completely unaware of the reasons behind their arrest. They were even locked up in separate prisons and were mistreated. The right of hiring an attorney was also taken away. They were not even allowed to talk to their families.

After two days, they appeared before Arpaio. Then, they came to know that Arpaio was the reason behind their arrest. Moreover, the prisons in which they kept were also run under Arpaio’s authority.

Arpaio released them when he couldn’t build a strong and compelling case against their arrest. Lacey and Larkin then decided to take action against Arpaio. They sent a lawsuit against him for his crimes. This news spread all across the country, and people supported them for their bold step.

Lacey and Larkin eventually won the case when the court came to know that both of them were innocent. A settlement of $3.7 million was paid to them in 2013.

With the help of this money, they decided to establish the Frontera Fund whose main aim was to benefit the Hispanic community, especially Mexicans that faced racial discrimination and violation of civil rights in Arizona as both of them, were strong supporters of migrants.

Lacey and Larkin benefitted a lot of people with the help of this fund. This fund also helped those who were unable to pay for their legal proceedings. This foundation also started benefitting other nonprofit organizations who worked for the same cause.