Tackling human, civil and migrant rights issues requires concerted efforts of both governmental and nongovernmental organizations and institutions. Human rights organizations have been on the forefront of championing for the guaranteeing and protection of fundamental human rights such as the First Amendment’s freedom of speech, freedom of association and self-determination.

In particular, nongovernmental human rights organizations have bridged the gap between the capacity and capability of governmental institutions and agencies and the ever demanding and complex human rights issues.

While some may have localized operational scope such as state or county, other human rights organizations operate within a larger geographical region. This includes national and international levels. Others have overarching operational scope and may operate as supranational or intergovernmental entities.

This is in recognition of the overarching nature of these issues such as migrant rights, which can extend into several geographical regions. The scope of their geographical location is therefore determined by the issues and causes that they champion for too.

There are thousands of human, civil and migrant rights organizations spread across the globe. However, organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and International Federation for Human Rights have regional operations offices that focus on particular issues within a given region.

Some of these organizations such as the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) are members of other human rights organizations. They are also dedicated to creating an intergovernmental platform where stakeholders can come together to develop solutions to human rights issues.

These organizations receive funding from a wide variety of sources including funds set aside by individuals and organizations for such purposes and governmental and nongovernmental donors. Some of these funds such as the Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund are usually donated by individuals committed to fighting against institutional oppressions.

Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund: Protecting First Amendment

The setting up of Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin stemmed from an unfortunate incident with institutional oppression undertones.

The fund is a silver lining in a rather unfortunate incident, which saw the two journalists and entrepreneurs arrested and the law enforcement department at Maricopa County attempting to deny them their freedom of speech as guaranteed in the First Amendment.

The cofounders of Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media had run a story in of their online tabloids about the county sheriff’s ongoing court case. The article highlighted the grand jury’s decision calling for journalists covering the case to hand over the notes they took during the court proceedings.

The two journalists were later arbitrarily arrested in the middle of the night by the sheriff following their exposure. The grand jury further issued subpoenas that demanded that they reveal the identity of all the online readers of their article on the exposure. They challenged the decision at before the district appellate judge who ruled in their favor. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase

To support the First Amendment rights, which they were being denied, Larkin and Lacey established a fund using the $3.75 million awarded by the judge as settlement. They funds will also be used to finance causes that support the rights of migrants throughout Arizona.

The Saga of Lacey, Larkin, and Arpaio Goes Digital Through Front Page Confidential

There is no love loss between Michael Lacey, Jim Larkin, and ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Anyone living in Arizona the last decade knows this. So it is no surprise that with the forming of their new digital news source, Front Page Confidential, the site has its own Joe Apraio section. The newsman and the sheriff were part of a lengthy, nasty feud that spilled over a series of articles, subpoenas, and scandals dating back years. For those unfamiliar, here is a little background.


Michael Lacey formed alternative news weekly Phoenix New Times in 1970, at the time he was a college dropout incensed by the Vietnam War and the Kent State Shootings. A year later Jim Larkin would join and take over advertising and the two would expand the fledgling paper. Joe Arpaio is elected Sheriff in 1992. His treatment of prisoners, illegal immigrants, and focus on the Latino community raise a lot of eyebrows. As the questionable treatment continues media outlets began to pay more attention. Lacey and Larkin begin to dog Arpaio at every turn. They expose numerous scandals that besmirch his reputation. Arpaio begins investigating the paper, issues a number of subpoenas, one of which Lacey and Larkin print under their byline. The duo is arrested the next day.


In recent years Lacey and Larkin have been running the Frontera Fund, a charity that finances Latino groups advocating migrant rights. The fund uses money from the $3.75 million dollar payout Lacey and Larkin garnered from a wrongful arrest case. Frontera Fund has donated thousands of dollars to help the plight of struggling Latino immigrants in Arizona. Front Page Confidential will follow the same design as Phoenix New Times, focusing on free speech with colorful articles using long-form investigating.


One comment on “Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund: Defending More than First Amendment

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