Inspired by Innocence: Stories & Songwriting

Oct 27, 2022
5:30pm to 8:00pm
Price:

Since our services are offered at no charge to those we serve, we raise funds from individuals, corporations, foundations, and special events like this one to make our mission possible. Individual tickets are $300.00 and sponsorship opportunities start at $3,000.00.

Music City Center, Davidson Ballroom
201 Rep. John Lewis Way S.
Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Description:

Inspired by Innocence: Stories & Songwriting

Join for an evening of celebration, music, and justice. The 2022 Tennessee Innocence Project fundraiser Inspired by Innocence will feature stories and songwriting on our most recent exonerations. Our exonerees partnered with professional singer-songwriters to use music as a means of storytelling, healing, and connection. From tears and anger to hope and resilience, the struggles of the wrongfully convicted and the feelings connected with being imprisoned for a crime you did not commit will be expressed through music. At our annual fundraiser, guests will have the opportunity to hear these pieces for the first time!

This event is our biggest fundraiser and signature Nashville event. It will be an unforgettable evening with a cocktail hour, three course dinner, mission moments, and more. Now in its fourth year, prior special guests include John Grisham, Eddie George, Demetria Kalodimos, Jon Meacham, and more. In 2021, our event featured international exoneree Amanda Knox, Innocence Project Co-Founder Barry Scheck, and 550 business, civic, and community leaders coming together to celebrate our one-of-a-kind project. The event won Nfcous Magazine’s 2021 Best Special Guest Award. Our debut fundraiser won Nfocus Magazine’s 2019 Best New Fundraiser Award.

Since our services are offered at no charge to those we serve, we raise funds from individuals, corporations, foundations, and special events like this one to make our mission possible. Individual tickets are $300.00 and sponsorship opportunities start at $3,000.00.

 

About the Tennessee Innocence Project

Formed in 2019, our mission at the Tennessee Innocence Project is to free the wrongfully incarcerated in Tennessee and raise awareness around the root causes of wrongful convictions. We investigate claims of actual innocence, litigate cases with merit at no charge to the client, and engage in education and advocacy to help prevent future wrongful convictions. We are the only organization state-wide undertaking criminal defense innocence work.

Research suggests that as many as 1,000 people may be wrongfully incarcerated in the state of Tennessee, but according to the National Registry of Exonerations, only 30 have been exonerated to date, including 4 achieved by the Tennessee Innocence Project. This is significantly lower than other states with similar incarceration rates. The Tennessee Innocence Project exists to serve the hundreds of individuals and their families who are still fighting for justice

In our first three years, we have received and processed hundreds of applications from incarcerated people across Tennessee, and successfully exonerated four individuals, who collectively served more than 95 years wrongfully incarcerated. As Tennessee Innocence Project exoneree Joyce Watkins shared, “I’m just happy to be out of this mess, which has cost me half of my life for nothing. But I’ll get over it. I thank God for me being able to do this.” Ms. Watkins and her partner Charles Dunn were wrongfully convicted in 1988 of the murder and sexual assault of Ms. Watkins’ great niece. In 2015, Ms. Watkins was released on parole. Unfortunately, Mr. Dunn never experienced freedom, as he passed away the same year while incarcerated. In 2022, we are proud to have helped exonerate Ms. Watkins and Mr. Dunn.

We are also honored to provide hope to our clients who remain behind bars while we are working to prove their innocence. A current client convicted in Shelby County recently shared, “Holding onto hope that someone would actually believe me one day has allowed me to keep my sanity.”

To learn more about the Tennessee Innocence Project, please visit: www.tninnocence.org.