The Larkin & Lacy Frontera Fund came about when co-founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin dedicated their settlement money from being arrested by Joe Arpaio to fund migrant rights organizations throughout Arizona and along the Mexican border. The fund supports groups that champion for civil, human, and migrant rights as well as freedom of speech.
This settlement came about when the co-founders were arrested in the middle of the night, on October 18, 2007, after they revealed grand jury proceedings that looked for reporters’ notes covering Sherriff Joe Arpaio.
Larkin and Lacey were co-founders of two media groups called, Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media; because the court subpoenaed notes from the Phoenix New times, violating their First Amendment right, they sued and prevailed against the US Court of Appeals, which resulted in a settlement of $3.75 million which allowed them to start this fund. Some of the supported organizations include:
- American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona
- American Immigration Council
- Arizona DREAM Act Coalition
- Arizona Justice Project
- Can The Boarder Divide Us?
- Center for Neighborhood Leadership
- The Collibri Center for Human Rights
- Cultural Coalition -Day of the Dead Phoenix
- The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project
- Fundacion Mexico
- Justice for Immigrants & Families Project
- Justice that Works
- Kino Boarder Initative
- No More Deaths
- Owl and Panther/ Hopi Foundation
- PACH (Phoenix Allies for Community Health)
- Phoenix Immigrant Justice Project
- Promise Arizona
- Raul Castro Institute
- Si Se Puede Foundation
- SySTEM Phoenix- College X Trips
- Trans Queer Pueblo
- Tucson Samaritans/ Los Samaritios
- Two Americans Documentary Re-Launch
- The Young Center
Michael Lacey was raised in Newark, NJ. He made his way to Arizona to attend Arizona State University in the late 1960’s; but when campus protests against the war started, a couple of students and himself published the inaugural issue of Phoenix New Times, he dropped out. One of those fellow students was Jim Larkin. Jim came on as the head of advertising and quickly became Michael’s business partner.
Jim Larkin was born and raised in Phoenix, he like his business partner, dropped out of Arizona State University in the 1970’s. Together with Michael, their baby the Phoenix New Times rapidly grew and expanded to include, Westword, LA Weekly, Miami New Times, and, Village Voice.
The commitment to the First Amendment, Village Voice Media company earned a reputation for long-form reporting, magazine-style writing, and sophisticated coverage of topics such as local events, music, and arts among other topics. The founders have set out what they had wanted to do when they first started out to do, keep people informed of their rights.