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Ricky  Kidd

Ricky Kidd

Wrongfully Convicted of Murder, Speaker, Author & Playwright


Can you imagine going to prison for 23 years for a crime you didn’t commit? Well, that is the real-life story of Ricky Kidd. Despite the fact he had an alibi at the time of the crime, Ricky was arrested in 1996 for the shooting deaths of George Bryant and Oscar Bridges in Kansas City, MO. Read More >

He was arrested and convicted with no physical evidence linked him to the crime. The prosecutor has since been accused of misconduct in this and several other cases and Ricky was exonerated on his last appeal with the help of the Missouri Innocence Project.

Ricky is now sharing his story as a speaker, author, and playwright. His sole post-exoneration focus is to educate and inspire millions of people about resilience in the face of their challenges. Ricky has also advocated for the wrongfully convicted all over the country and has even trained prosecutors on how to avoid wrongful convictions as a criminal justice consultant.

Ricky’s story has been fuel for him to continue to share his story of true resilience and educate and inspire others that they too can overcome adversity!

“I was forced to become the light, illuminating everything in sight, I was forced to become the oxygen if ever I was to breathe again” says Ricky Kidd, in his book of spoken words. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Wrongful Convictions | Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Wrongfully Convicted & Imprisoned for 23 Years | Steve Wilkos

Proving Innocence | The Midwest Innocence Project

After 23 Years Wrongly Imprisoned, Ricky Kidd is Free – and Using His Voice | PBS NewsHour

Vivid Expressions: A Journey Inside the Mind of the Innocent

Speech Topics

Power of One

The number one is the beginning of the numeral system; it can be seen as less than 100 or perhaps not worth counting at all. In a world where many desires more, and abundance is the value of success, who’s paying attention to just one? Yet, Ricky Kidd takes the audience into his Power Of One Presentation to help dispel any notion that one is not enough. In the thousands of letters Ricky wrote seeking help. he kept reminding himself that he only needed one person to respond. Fighting against his wrongful conviction Ricky Kidd lost 11 times before winning his very last appeal. His odds of winning were said to be only a one percent chance. Ricky's presentation encourages the audience to remember the power of one…even if it is them becoming the one themselves.

Commonality In Our Differences

At a quick glance we readily see our differences; white or black, young or older, dreadlocks or blonde hair, hispanic or gay. But upon closer observation we will (most often) have more in common then we do different. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion isn't just about showing us how to accept one another or be fair or inclusive, it also shows us how we are already alike in more ways than meets the eye. When we realize our commonalities it aids us in setting aside our differences; that then fosters a mindset or environment that treats others equal, just & fair. Ricky Kidd’s account of being wrongfully convicted by an all white cast, then led to freedom by a diverse group displays a powerful lesson of when we see each other as equal, we all can rise to our best self and achieve equitable outcomes.

The Miracle of Reconciliation & Forgiveness

Hard to imagine a most heinous action taken against you, then finding it within yourself to forgive the person or institution who performed the act, Yet Ricky Kidd tells the story of his 23 wrongful conviction and how he was able to reconcile & forgive one of the prosecutors who at one point fought against his deserved freedom. They are now friends and work together to combat other wrongful convictions. At one point at odds, now fighting together to increase the odds for others in need of justice.

Standing In Your Greatness

The idea that greatness is first recognized by the world or told by an account of someone other than the person is a fallacy. It is not when we see that Micheal Jordan scores 65 points in one single game or helps lead the Chicago Bull to 6 championships in his career. It is not when we see the Williams sisters run the tennis court year after year, or witness Patrick Mahomes dominate the field of football. Before we ever caught a glimpse of any of these individuals, they had all decided to stand in their greatness. To recognize it first, before anyone else did, to own it as their possession before the media helped share their gifts with the rest of the world. Ricky shares his own personal story about standing in his greatness, which ultimately lead him to becoming a national speaker, trainer, playwright, & thought leader; all while allowing his audience to connect with their own story of greatness. He drives home the point into the audience's mind that “potential” must be realized first by themselves before ever being recognized by the world.

Leaders Who Lead v. Leaders Who Follow

Twenty Three Years Wrongfully Convicted, Ricky Kidd was able to learn a range of lessons on the importance of quality leadership. He shares what happened when bad leadership caused his wrongful conviction, how brilliant leadership ushered him back to freedom and how his own strong and determined leadership have brought him center stage. Read More >

His lecture opens up to:

    • The type of leadership we often see
    • The type we ought to be
    • Why quality leadership is critically important; particularly as African Americans and minorities in today’s time.
    • How to practice anti racism leadership in the world around us
    • Why activating genuine and deep leadership makes a meaningful difference

In this presentation Ricky inspires leaders and everyday people to consider the importance of quality leadership and the consequences of failed leadership. Read Less ^

Including Exclusion

Ricky Kidd offers this lecture surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion that touches on the topics: Read More >

1) What Makes Us Bias
2) How To Counter Bias?
3) Shoe On The Other Foot; Are You A Bias Victim
4) Why Diversity Matters
5) The Better Outcome Of Inclusion.

This presentation is powerful in how Ricky helps the audience challenge their perspective while also moving towards a more fair and broader perspective. Read Less ^

People, Policy & The Problem

Ricky offers quite a unique perspective about how policy issues across any industry can have a problematic effect when not created with everyone in mind, adhered to, or changed when needed. Ricky walks his audience through his tragic story of a 23 year wrongful conviction and how through each stage policy issues/or the law, served as an impediment to his deserved freedom. In this lecture Ricky also challenges the audience to consider their own personal responsibility to the policies that surround their particular industry or field.

Origin of Innocence

In Ricky’s Lecture, “The Origin Of Innocence,” he journeys with his audience back in time towards the so-called abolishing of slavery, down the pathway thru the emancipation of proclamation; where slavery was thought to have ended. However, thru a unique lens there lie a discovery that slavery, as we once knew it, had changed its form and its name. It became the prison industrial complex, supported by what was carefully crafted as the 13th amendment. There became a need to recapture African Americans and indenginous people by way of accusing them of a crime; a crime they may or may not have committed; with zero opportunity for such a charge to ever be contested fairly. A right to representation of counsel did not come from the supreme court until another 100 years. By then the prison system was well on its way, having been established in the eyes of society as the place for the guilty, despite housing innocent individuals. It would be a dark secret for years to come, until the work of diligent lawyers, non profit organizations and others began raising claims of innocence for those otherwise believed guilty. Raised claims, raised eyebrows and now Ricky’s Origin of Innocence lecture offers further insight into just how far back innocent men and women were convicted.

Resilience Ready

In a world where everyone finds increased difficulty and challenges daily, it’s no surprise to hear the word RESILIENCE. The question is, do they really know what Resilience is? Does one naturally know how to activate their own, when needed the most? In this powerful presentation of “Resilience Ready” Ricky walks the audience through the intimate details of his 23 year wrongful conviction, how he discovered the 5 keys to activating his resilience, while also helping them understand how to activate their own.