Earlier today, the Detroit Free Press reported that Dallas' Erykah Badu is joining the battle to support the African American 490 Challenge, a movement that campaigns to process abandoned rape kits, and prosecute the criminals connected to them.
She is partnering with Right Productions to donate money from her August 12 concert at the Chene Amphitheater. Proceeds will also help support Enough SAID, a partner the 490 Challenge, who works to raise money to test over 11,300 rape kits that were found in a Detroit Police Department storage locker in 2009.
The 490 Challenge will receive $5 from each ticket to the concert along with the proceeds from receptions before and after the show that cost $100 and $1000 respectively. The attendees to the VIP reception after the show will meet Badu.
The 490 Challenge got it's name since each kit costs $490 to test, and Wayne County, Michigan prosecutor Kym Worthy will have even more support now because of this announcement. For years she was the sole attorney working to find justice for the women whose stories were left untold for years while those rape kits remained forgotten, according to the Detroit Free Press.
"This is a huge day for Enough SAID/AA490," Worthy 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."
The funds raised so far have helped test almost 10,000 kits, and they have given Worthy the chance to create a county prosecution team who focuses solely on investigating the crimes connected to those rape kits.
Enough SAID and AA490 have raised over $250,000 so far, and hope to reach over $650,000 by the end of the year. One of the organizers of this concert, the Circle, a Detroit black women's social group hopes Badu will be able to raise $50,000 with her efforts.
"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," said Kim Trent, president of the 490 Challenge. "We are very excited that she is lending her considerable talent to our cause."