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Larkin and Lacey: Challenging Racism

A sad fact of life: hatred will always exist. As long as people have free will, some people will choose to hate others for whatever reason. The important thing is that there’s always someone to stand against the hate. There need to be more people speaking words of love and peace than words of hate and war.

Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are men of peace; more accurately, men of justice. Obviously, they don’t speak words of hate, but they’re more known for challenging negative stereotypes and fear-mongering. They teamed up in the early 70s after Lacey and some other Arizona State co-eds started a weekly campus paper.

By the early 80s, their little campus newspaper became a regional success. Many locals found it refreshing to have media coverage of events that wasn’t tilted to one side. In ’83, they decided to expand and bring in more newspapers.

They first purchased Westword, a news-and-arts paper in Denver. They eventually purchased big-name papers like LA Weekly, Miami New Times, and Village Voice. Their new multimillion-dollar media conglomerate became their main focus. Over the decades, Village Voice Media won hundreds of honors and awards. It also attracted over 60 million monthly readers; both in print and online. Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund

While the success of their newspapers is impressive, that’s not what they’re most recognized for. Almost ten years ago, they were arrested by a crooked sheriff, who was angered by their investigative reporting. For months, they’d targeted Sheriff Joe Arpaio because of his unlawful and atrocious behavior.

The most shocking thing he did, on a regular occurrence, was play a role in anti-Mexican rallies. He’s the sheriff of a county along the Mexican border, participating as a fear-monger toward local citizens and innocent migrants seeking a better life.

Both Lacey and Larkin were raised to help those in need, and Sheriff Arpaio’s action offended them deeply.

Eventually, it all ended for Sheriff Arpaio. After wrongfully arresting Larkin and Lacey, the duo sued Maricopa County. They won a $3.7 million settlement in 2013, which they used to create the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.

These events came to light just before the midterm elections, so politicians on both sides used that to their advantage. While they were focused on publicity, the duo’s fund supported several worthy nonprofits that fight for Hispanic causes.

Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin:

https://about.me/jim_larkin
https://www.facebook.com/jimlarkin53

Betsy DeVos Gives Back To Americans

Betsy DeVos has been leading the way toward education reform for many years now. She has been organizing parties, campaigns, and political action committees for over thirty years and her hard work has paid off in a tremendous way. It gave her to opportunity to serve the Michigan Republican Party and work as the chairman for six years. She is also very invested in nonprofit organizations and believes in giving her time to charity to help the lives of other people. One way she is able to do this is through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, an organization that she is chairman of. Betsy DeVos recently spoke to Philanthropy Roundtable about the private school program in Wisconsin. She is very pleased with its progress and is happy to report that the program is spreading to many other states. This is going to provide children with access to better schooling that public school, which are generally failing in terms of education. Betsy feels close to this private school movement thanks to the excellent schooling she received from the Potter’s House Christian School. She wanted there to be an option that like for every child. Read more about her philanthropy at MLive.

Betsy is also the chairman for the country’s top school advocacy group, the American Federation for Children. She strongly believes in this organization’s ability to provide children and their parents with more options for school choice. Due to all the hard of Betsy and the American Federation for Children, over a million parents have been able to send their child to the school of their choice. Betsy also came up with the idea for a public charter high school called the West Michigan Aviation Academy. This school is ideal for students that are interested in aviation but also want to receive the best education available to them. Betsy DeVos is on the board for the Foundation for Excellence in Education, and with them she works with the children of Kids Hope USA. These are elementary students that are considered to be at risk and can benefit from the mentoring of adults.

As seen in Betsy’s resume, she is a person who cares deeply about helping others. She is very devoted to philanthropy and she is very involved with the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. This organization works to solve problems relating to leadership, education, justice, arts, and community. The foundation provides support to a variety of organizations such as the West Michigan Aviation Academy and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oncology Program. Betsy is very interested in the arts and enjoys the creativity that is encourages and fosters. She previously served under President George W. Bush at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She worked there on the Board of Trustees. Visit the website U.S. Department of Education to know more.