Erykah Badu has jumped onboard to help the African American 490 Challenge in Detroit. The R&B singer will be partnering with Right Productions to give partial proceeds from her upcoming performance at Chene Park Amphitheater to the 490 Challenge to test backlogged rape kits in the city, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The 490 Challenge works as part of Enough SAID, a collaboration of the Michigan Women’s Foundation, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the Detroit Crime Commission that raises money to test the thousands of rape kits uncovered as abandoned in the Detroit Police Department. The foundation’s campaign has tested about 10,000 kits out of the 11,341 reported kits found. Remaining funds for the project are going to complete the remainder of the tests and investigating results.
“This is a huge day for Enough SAID/AA490,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement to the Free Press. “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.”
So far, the project has been able to develop a county prosecution team to investigate the unsolved rapes. “Together, we stand for justice,” Shahida Mausi, president and CEO of Right Productions told the newspaper. “We are honored to make Chene Park the site for great artistry supporting a great mission.”
According to Mausi, $5 from each ticket sold for Badu’s performance will go to the 490 Challenge, as well as all proceeds from the artist’s reception before the show ($100 ticket) and the VIP reception with Badu after the show ($1,000 ticket).
“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,” Kim Trent, president of the 490 Challenge, told the Free Press. “We are very excited that she is lending her considerable talent to our cause.”
Badu’s performance in Chene Park is scheduled for August 12.