Erykah Badu Will Donate Concert Proceeds to Help Process Untested Rape Kits in Detroit
Grammy award-winning artist Erykah Badu announced plans earlier this week to donate proceeds from her August 12 concert at Detroit's Chene Park Amphitheater to help the city's efforts to test thousands of backlogged rape kits, the Detroit Free Press reports.
In 2009, over 11,300 untested rape kits were discovered in a Detroit police warehouse. As of March 2016, nearly 10,000 of these kits have been tested, leading to the over 2,500 DNA matches and the identification of more than 750 potential serial rapists. From these results, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office (the county where Detroit is located), has reportedly been able to link DNA to cases throughout 40 states and Washington, D.C. and make 36 convictions. Despite this progress, well over a thousand rape kits have yet to be tested and each remaining one costs $490 to process.
In effort to end the backlog, Badu partnered with the African American 490 Challenge, a Detroit-based organization (which derives the 490 from processing fee) aiming to test the remaining rape kits. AA490 is part of the larger group Enough SAID (Enough Sexual Assault in Detroit) that has spent years raising funds to process the 1,000-plus kits. To bolster their efforts, Badu will donate $5 from each ticket sale, as well as proceeds from a $100-per-ticket preconcert reception and a $1,000-per-ticket postconcert VIP reception with Badu herself to the cause.
"This is a huge day for Enough SAID/AA490,” Said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy — who's spent years unremittingly working to process the untested rape kits—in a statement. “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.”
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