In light of COVID-19, the Midwest Innocence Projects’s 2020 Faces of Innocence Gala will be postponed to a later date. Safety is our paramount concern. 

All tickets and sponsorships will be honored for the new date, which has yet to be determined. If you have already purchased a ticket or sponsorship for the program, we will contact you separately.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the Midwest Innocence Project’s mission. We hope to have a new date for the event soon. Please stay safe during this challenging time. We are all in this together.



We are excited to announce the date and location of the Midwest Innocence Project’s 2020 Faces of Innocence fundraising dinner and auction. This signature event that raises the critical funds needed to bring innocent clients home will be held on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, at the Marriott Kansas City Downtown-Muehlebach Tower. Last year, generous supporters of the Midwest Innocence Project raised over $300,000 to support the mission, funding that was critical in exonerating MIP Client Ricky Kidd!

Inspired by last year’s success, we have raised the bar even higher and set the goal at $400,000. You can help us reach that goal and achieve justice for more innocent clients by sponsoring the 2020 event. Enclosed is a packet outlining the sponsorship levels. Funds from these sponsorships directly supports our work to screen, investigate, and litigate cases for our clients. Currently, there are 500 individuals still waiting for assistance. MIP staff, partners, and volunteers are reviewing and investigating on behalf of an additional 60 individuals and MIP is actively litigating for the release of 12 clients. Your support provides critical DNA tests, forensic analysis, and hours of investigation.

Representing our clients at no cost, the Midwest Innocence Project is the last hope for innocent individuals in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas. Indeed, your support is an investment in the values we all hold dear—liberty, equality, and justice. We cannot do it with you. For additional information, please visit our website at or contact the MIP at Together, we can tell these untold stories and provide justice for innocent people in our region.


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


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 Life Time 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.