Thanks to support from people like you, the Faces of Innocence Gala annually raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fight for those who have been wrongfully incarcerated.


Needless to say, the world, and in-person events, have changed drastically. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the need to fight for the innocent, during a time when they need it the most. In line with CDC guidelines our Faces of Innocence Gala will now be 100% virtual, on Thursday, July 30th. 


Even though we cannot physically join together, we invite you to be a part in our fight for justice. During our Virtual Gala we will bring the same compelling elements as our in-person event – speakers with powerful stories, justice advocates coming together to fight for the innocent, recognition of those in the innocence community who have made the biggest impact, and so much more.


Better yet, the virtual event will be open to anyone, and tickets to attend are now FREE. The innocence crisis in America is an extensive one – and we’re excited that the amount of people who can hear about our work is no longer limited by the physical size of a room.

By joining this virtual event, making crucial donations, and speaking up on social media, your voices join with ours. Together we can create a racket that is impossible to ignore. 


our vision

Tricia Rojo Bushnell
Executive Director
"We have to be bold. Loud. Unapologetic and unafraid to point out the system’s flaws."
With courage, we ask for a better, more just reality.

There is no room for hesitation in our work. Every minute, hour, and day matter when innocent people sit in prison for crimes they did not commit. 

A certain amount of boldness drives everything we do. We call out injustice, even when it’s caused by those in power. We shine light on the reasons for wrongful convictions, even when they’re uncomfortable for people to see. We pour every dime, moment, and resource we can into this work — and we ask for your boldness in that mission, too.


The event



JULY 27 – JULY 30, 8PM


JULY 30, 6:30–7:00 PM:

Virtual “Cocktailing” / Pre-event Entertainment / Networking

7:00–8:00 PM:

Faces of Innocence Live VIRTUAL program

Welcome from Honorary Chairs Will & Senia Shields

Remarks from Bob Hoffman, MIP Board President

Message from Tricia Rojo Bushnell, MIP Executive Director

Award Recognition

Keynote from Dr. Yusef Salaam

Performance by Faye Jacobs

Q&A Panel: Will Shields, Yusef Salaam, Tricia Rojo Bushnell 

Closing Remarks: Ricky Kidd


Honorary Chairs

For over 25 years, the Shields' have made countless contributions to the Kansas City community, including the formation of the Will to Succeed Foundation, which supports the needs of abused women and children.


Will, who had a 14-year hall-of-fame career with the Kansas City Chiefs, is a 12-time Pro-Bowler and has been recognized as the Walter Payton NFL Man of The Year and the Walter Camp Man of The Year. He has been awarded the Outland Trophy, the Ed Block Courage Award and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team. Will has served as a spokesperson for the United Way, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Council on Philanthropy.

Senia is a trained social worker, helping families throughout the metro area, and supporting organizations that do the same.


Dr. Yusef Salaam is a committed advocate and educator, focusing on the issues of false confessions, police brutality and misconduct, press ethics and bias, race and law, and the disparities in America’s criminal justice system. Yusef, a member of the Exonerated Five, received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 from President Barack Obama. He was appointed to the board of the Innocence Project in 2018, and is a part of the Netflix Feature limited series called When They See Us based on the true story of the “Central Park Five” directed by Ava DuVernay.

Keynote Speaker


The Golden Ticket Trip drawing returns!

This year the winner will receive a prize package for an Ultimate Pro Football Experience in Canton, Ohio—two (2) tickets to attend the Hall of Fame Pre-game Tailgate, Football Game, Enshrinement Seats at the Induction Ceremony, and Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum.

Tickets to enter the drawing are only $100. You won't want to miss this golden opportunity.





Our online silent auction will be hosted through Greater Giving—bidding starts on July 27th.


In early July, we will announce auction items, including one of kind sports memorabilia signed by Will Shields.


Check back for a link to the auction, and more details about how you can join in.





Will & Senia Shields
Reid Family Trust


Welch Family Foundation


Laurie & Don Montague
David & Wendy Welte
Dobbins Family
The Brain Family


Chesney & Patrick Sallee
Jerry & Pam Bales
Rod & Marsha Uphoff
Keith & Stephanie Henson


Addie & Bob Harte
BCCM Construction Group
BMG Advisors
David & Mary Schulte
Enterprise Bank & Trust
John & Marny Sherman
Marsh & Mclennan Agency
Molly McVey
Saint Luke's Health System
Straub Construction
The Schleicher Family
Transport Brewery
UES Consulting Services
Special thank you to:

Nebraska Regional Advisory Council

David W. Russell

John & Ellen Aisenbrey
GPS Impact

Annie Monfort, Art Director

St. Louis Regional Advisory Council

Realm Construction

Experience Events Group

Graham Crow

Tom's Town Distilling Co.

Jill Cockson & Swordfish Tom's

Join Us

Thursday, July 30, 2020 @6:30p

There is no time to wait. No donation too small. 



Midwest Innocence ProjecT

3619 Broadway BLVD. #2

Kansas City, MO 64111


Event info & sponsorship questions

The Midwest Innocence Project is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation. Contributions are tax deductible.

© 2020 by Midwest Innocence Project.

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