For many decades, oppressive governments and leaders have used repression of the freedom of expression as a tool for exerting their authority over the masses. Without the space for expression, it was virtually impossible to be heard or self-determine.
This extended to freedom of press, without which the opinions and sufferings of many would be muzzled. Suppression of the freedom of expression essentially rendered citizens prisoners without any human dignity. Consequently, basic human rights were taken away while torture was common place. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://twitter.com/JimLarkin_ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427427/Jim_Larkin
However, the past few decades have seen significant improvements when it comes to guaranteeing and respecting universal human rights. One organization, which has played a critical role in ensuring such progresses, is Amnesty International.
Since its founding in 1961 in London, England, Amnesty International has grown into a global human rights organizations with operations in over 150 nations and territories.
Peter Benenson who founded the organization initially focused on prisoners of conscience who were executed and imprisoned by their governments for holding different religious or political opinions.
However, the scope of the organization’s objectives has broadened to including emerging human rights challenges such as immigration and refugee issues.
The Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization has played a critical role in abolition of capital punishment including the death penalty in many countries.
Through research and monitoring of human rights situations across the globe, Amnesty International has published reports that have helped protect and preserve basic human rights as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It has shaped public policy making to safeguard human rights.
The Frontera Fund: Shaping Arizonian Public Opinion on Immigrants
Like Amnesty International, Phoenix, Arizona-headquartered Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund has taken an active role in shaping public opinion on immigrant rights. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Twitter
Founded by two journalists, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the fund is dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants in Arizona. Using the $3.75 million settlement fee they received from Maricopa County after a successful litigation of a First Amendment rights violation case, the fund will support organizations dedicated to promoting First Amendment rights too.
The dedication of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin to tackle immigrant and First Amendment rights stems from their own experience at the hands of Sheriff Joe Arpaio or Maricopa County.
The sheriff ordered for a midnight arrest of the journalists and entrepreneurs after they published exposures detailing his racially-driven mistreatment of Latinos and financial misappropriations.
The grand jury subpoenas used by the arresting deputies, which declared illegal by the court, demanded for identities of readers and writers of the stories. They challenged the subpoenas and their arrest, which they won in 2007.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: Protecting the Rights of Migrants
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are the renowned co-founders for the famous Village Voice Media and Phoenix New Times. They have set aside money that was accorded to them after the settlement of the lawsuit over their arrest by the Americana sheriff, Joe Arpaio. The money is meant to fund the right organization or migrants in entire Arizona. The settlement was $3.75 million. It resulted from their arrest in 2007 by the county sheriff. The two were journalists by then and were taken from their homes in the course of the night and taken to jail. The accusation was that they had revealed the grand jury proceedings who looked for any information that related to the sheriff. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin had spent their entire career life defending and asserting the First Amendment rights. They sued the county for something that reached the court of appeal.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin they founded the Frontera Fund and that is set to give support to groups that advocate for human, civil, and migrant rights. The groups also advocate for civic participation and freedom of speech in entire Arizona including the Mexican border. The group gives grants to all migrant-rights organizations in Arizona. It supports the non-profit groups who are involved in the lives and rights of Latinos and Hispanics. The fund has already met the needs of many Latinos and Hispanics who were initially discriminated against law enforcement and public officials. The fact that Trump pardoned the sheriff Joe, it should be the appropriate time for the Frontera Fund, in general, to actively fight against his legacy at the moment and stabilize the situations. The fund is comm9tted to undo the mess and the damage that was caused in the cause of time. Besides founding the Frontera Fund, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have come with energy to engage in journalism and launch the Front Page Confidential site that covers any threats to freedom of speech and concerning First Amendment.