Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the co-founders of the media outlet Village Voice Media which is the publisher of the Phoenix New Times. Lacey and Larkin have been fighting hard for civil rights since their college days in the 1970s and continue to do so today. The journalists were wrapped up in a scandal that involved former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio back in 2007.
Their wrongful arrest at the hands of Arpaio’s men led to a public outcry and a swift release. Lacey and Larkin subsequently won a lawsuit against Maricopa County that ended up seeing them awarded $3.7 million.
This money was immediately put to use in founding the Frontera Fund in order to help amazing civil rights organizations such as Promise Arizona and the Kino Border Initiative. Read more: Jim Larkin | Twitter and Michael Lacey | Twitter
Promise Arizona, know as Paz, is a faith-based human rights organization. The organization was founded in 2010 during the height of the state of Arizona’s animosity towards Hispanic people.
This was the years of the passage of the infamous SB 1070 bill.Members of Paz participated in a 103-day prayer vigil at the state capitol in Phoenix in opposition to the racist bill.
Paz members consistently demonstrated on courthouse plazas in Arizona as well as Washington D.C. All of this was going on as notorious former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio went to trial for his department’s unconstitutional police activities.
The mission of Promise Arizona is the develop and train a new generation of leaders that will make Arizona a welcoming place to all people regardless of background.
The Kino Border Initiative has a mission to be a presence that fosters a sentiment of binational solidarity and collaboration on the issue of migration. Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: https://angel.co/jim-larkin-1 and http://james-larkin.com/recent-news/
The real issue is that the dehumanizing process of border control receives a massive budget and 23,000 agents in order to enforce policy while the humanizing presence that seeks more reasonable solutions to these issues has to make do on donations and the desire to help.
It was only recently that deportees were still dropped off at night which made them highly vulnerable to crimes such as robbery and sexual assault. This has stopped at the moment but deportees are vulnerable at all times of the day.
Many of these deportees have been separated from their families and have not recovered from the horrible toll the journey through the desert takes on a person. The experience of deportation is a horrible and traumatic one for people and a time that causes great depression.
The Kino Border Initiative does what it can to ease the suffering of deportees. The initiative serves around 80 deportees and migrants every morning as well as around 60 every afternoon. There are volunteers from organizations like No More Deaths and Samaritans that come and give what help they can.
No More Deaths helps migrants call family members and the Samaritans bring clothing and toiletries. The Kino Initiative runs a cooperative program that is designed to teach migrants new skills as well as helping them out with earning a bit of cash. The Kino Border Initiative’s sister shelter for women and children make and sell bracelets.