Tara Raghuveer

2021 Winner

Tara Raghuveer is the director and co-founder of KC Tenants, the citywide tenant union in Kansas City. KC Tenants is led by a multigenerational, multiracial, anti-racist base of poor and working-class tenants, organizing to ensure that everyone in Kansas City has a safe, accessible, and truly affordable home. KC Tenants includes over 450 leaders and a membership of over 4000 tenants in Kansas City.

In 2019, KC Tenants wrote and won a tenants bill of rights and took on a major out-of-town evictor. In 2020, KC Tenants pushed the city to fund the implementation of the tenants bill of rights, won a temporary local eviction moratorium, launched a tenant hotline, organized statewide for COVID-19 relief and intervened in thousands of evictions. In 2021, KC Tenants organized tenant unions across the city, developed a proposal for a People’s Housing Trust Fund, convened tenants impacted by COVID-19 evictions to fight for their rights, and much more.

Tara guides KC Tenants strategy and supports a powerful team of organizers to implement the vision that comes from the organization’s leaders. Tara has studied evictions in Kansas City since 2013, leading the Kansas City Eviction Project. In addition to local tenant organizing, Tara is the Homes Guarantee campaign director at People’s Action, a national network of grassroots organizations. Previously, she organized in the immigrant rights movement. Tara is an Australian-born Indian American immigrant who was raised in the Kansas City area, on the Kansas side of the state line.

Tricia Rojo Bushnell

2021 Winner

Tricia Rojo Bushnell is the Executive Director of the Midwest Innocence Project, which works to free innocent people convicted of crimes they did not commit. She is responsible for managing all aspects of MIP and serves as its lead attorney, representing clients in court and in clemency proceedings. Tricia believes in the power of community and what we can achieve together and is honored to serve as the current president of the Innocence Network, an affiliation of 68 innocence organizations around the country and the world.

A California native of Mexican descent, Tricia is the first in her family to go to college, receiving her B.A. from Bucknell University and her J.D. from NYU School of Law. She approaches problems with the belief that representation matters and that the solutions to problems must come from those directly impacted. She has engaged this philosophy in her previous work as an assistant clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Law, a fellow with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama, and an associate at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis in Los Angeles. She has also served as the president of the ACLU of Missouri and on the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Diverse Business Committee.

Outside of work, Tricia loves exploring new destinations on foot or by bike, and you can catch her sipping coffee and eating gluten-free pastries at her favorite coffee shops around town.