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Y’all know Erykah Badu loves a summer festival. Every year, she’s out here. But this year, she’s doing something a bit different during her August 12 date in Detroit, Michigan at the Chene Park Amphitheater.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Badu is joining the effort to test abandoned rape kits and find the criminals attached to them.
Badu is partnering with a group called Right Productions and will donate proceeds from her concert to the campaign’s African American 490 Challenge. 490, which is a part of Enough SAID, the Michigan Women’s Foundation, is seeking to raise money to test more than 11,300 rape kits that were found, abandoned, in a Detroit Police Department storage unit in 2009. The group is named 490 because it costs $490 to test each rape kit.
So far, 10,000 kits have been tested. The money that they are raising will go toward testing the remaining kits and investigating the results.
Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym Worthy, who worked alone before gaining thousands of supporters to find justice for the women associated with the kits, issued this statement.
“This is a huge day for Enough SAID/AA490. Everyone knows that Erykah Badu is a major, major talent in the music and song-writing industry. For her to lend her name, talent and time to this work is nothing short of a miracle. Justice for these forgotten sexual assault victims has been given a phenomenal assist.”
Badu’s announcement comes after a group of Black men in the area announced that they would join the campaign to raise money to test the rape kits.
CEO of the Right Productions said the 490 Challenge will get $5 from each ticket sale as well as proceeds from a $100-per-ticket reception before the concert and the $1,000-per-person VIP reception with Badu after the show.
Organizers hope to raise $50,000 toward the 490 Challenge’s goal of $657,090 by the end of the year. So far, the 490 Challenge has raised $250,000 with the help of a competition between Black sororities and a contest between supporters of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
Kim Trent, president of the 490 Challenge, said, “It should come as no surprise that an artist with Erykah Badu’s impressive history of social consciousness would join forces with the Black women leaders of Detroit to address this important social issue. We are very excited that she is lending her considerable talent to our cause.”