The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) is a human rights advocacy organization based in the New York State and Tri-State Area that was founded in the year 1974. Essentially, its core duties are to protect and ensure that the human rights of Asians living in the US are protected and upheld. This function is achieved through advocacy, litigation, organizing, and education.
AALDEF provides legal representation to persons and community groups affected by issues such as Civic participation rights, economic justice for employees, educational fairness, access to services, immigrant rights, violence against Asians, human trafficking, housing justice and police criminality.
The prowess of this organization is demonstrated in their successful litigation of precedent-setting cases, where it represented low-income Asian immigrant workers. In this particular case, the organization won the case, and as a result, millions of dollars owed to poor Asian immigrant worker in the restaurant and nail salon industries were paid to the low income earning Asians.
Through multiracial strategic coalitions, AALDEF has successfully brought the perspectives of Asian Americans to policy discussions. Also, the organization has been heavily involved in the organization of campaigns against hate-inspired violence, police misconduct, human trafficking, racial profiling among other racially charged injustices.
For instance, during the post 911 period, AALDEF openly advocated against the racial and ethnic profiling that targeted South Asians, Jews, Arabs, Iranians, and Muslims. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Phoenix New Time
Backed by its 14-person staff and over 300 volunteers, the organization works with community-based groups at the grassroots level to ensure that educational equity and youth rights are upheld in institutions. This has empowered Asian Americans and ensured that they have a voice in political processes affecting their society.
AALDEF has also enrolled and trained hundreds of young lawyers through internship programs organized and managed by the organization. This has encouraged Asian Americans to use their educational skills to serve the community, hence increasing the general awareness in Asian communities regarding human rights. The capital required to fund the operations of AALDEF is raised through fundraising, contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations.
Like the AALDEF, humanitarian organizations such as the Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund have in their ways helped protect the human rights of Americans. The Larkin and Lacey Frontera fund is an organization that owes its foundation to two unlawful arrests made by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies from the dreaded “Selective Enforcement Unit” on October 18, 2007.
It was an arrest fueled by their recent publication where revelations of how, in violation of the constitution, friends to the sheriff at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office had discharged a court directory seeking personal details about Phoenix New Times’ employees who participated in an article that exposed the sheriff’s misdeeds.
The unwarranted arrests of Larkin and Lacey led to a public outburst, which resulted in them being released in less than 24 hours. Due to the unlawful arrests made by the sheriff and the court orders issued to the Phoenix New Times, a legal battle ensued between the two journalists and the state.
In the end, a compensation of $3.7 million was remitted to Larkin and Lacey. Lacey and Larkin dedicated the settlement money to the formation of the Frontera Fund.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/12/16/proceeds-arpaio-suit-fund-asu-journalism-chair/20480479/