In today’s instalment of Humans Doing Commendable Things To Help Out In Totally Fucked Situations, Erykah Badu will be donating $5 from each ticket sold for her upcoming performance at the Chene Park Amphitheater to a non-profit that endeavours to clear Detroit’s backlog of untested rape kits. The African American 490 Challenge raises funds to test the distressingly high number (11,341) of rape kits found abandoned in the Detroit Police Department (each kit costs $490 to process). Partnering with Right Productions, Badu will also donate all funds from her pre-show and VIP post-show receptions ($100 and $1000 per ticket respectively).
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Michigan Women’s Foundation, and the Detroit Crime Commission combined forces to create Enough SAID/AA490, which has so far tested 10,000 of the kits. It’s a rare instance of a public/private partnership that raises money for public use, and the collaboration’s efforts have found support across the community, having raises $250 000 of their $657 090 goal for the year.
In a statement to Detroit Free Press, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy stressed this was a big win. Worthy previously worked alone to fund the testing of the rape kits and find justice for those who filed them. “This is a huge day for Enough SAID/AA490,” she said. “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.”
Kim Trent, the president of 490 Challenge, asserted her gratitude for Badu’s involvement. “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.”