If the story of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin is ever made into a movie, it might be titled “The Quest for Truth.” Founders of the Arizona newpapers the Phoenix New Times and the Village Voice Media, the duo made an industry of exposing corruption, selective enforcement, and other malfeanse of the part of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
On the night of October 18, 2007, the self-styled “America’s Toughest Sheriff” struck back, and the duo were arrested and jailed by Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
In the aftermath, Maricopa County officials settled with Lacey and Larkin for more than $3 million. The two used part of the money to endow a chair in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. It is the only chair dealing exclusively with immigration and border issues.
The rest of the money was distributed to migrant rights groups in Arizona through their nonprofit, the Frontera Fund.
We tend to forget that there are people like Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin everywhere. People who are struggling for, to use the words introducing the old “Superman” television series: “truth, justice, and the American way.” Like minded individuals come together to form non-profit organizations to help and protect those who need it most.
The People For the American Way endeavor to sustain a diverse and vibrant democracy. The Electronic Privacy Information Center works to develop oversight and accountability in the era of the Internet. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin | Angel.co
The National Fair Housing Alliance seeks to abolish housing discrimination and to guarantee equal housing opportunity for all people. The National Council of Negro Women serves as a general advocacy group for women of African descent. Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
The National Council of La Raza labor for rights and opportunities for Hispanic Americans. The Southern Poverty Law Center uses the legal system to combat discrimination.
The National Immigration Project is an association of lawyers, students, and other advocates working to defend the rights of immigrants. The Direct Action and Research Training Center is a complex of nonprofit organizations working on issues facing their communities.
Affiliated with the AFL-CIO, the Alliance for Retired Americans works to insure full rights for retirees. The American Association of People with Disabilities is a member organization dedicated to the economic independence and political empowerment for disabled Americans.
People from all walks of life are lending a hand up rather than a hand out.