She is partnering with the Right Productions to donate money from her Aug. 12 concert at Chene Park Amphitheater to the African American 490 Challenge. The 490 is a partner of Enough SAID, the Michigan Women’s Foundation campaign raising money to test more than 11,300 rape kits found abandoned in a Detroit Police Department storage unit in 2009. The 490 Challenge bears that name because each kit costs $490 to test. About 10,000 kits have been tested so far, and money is now going toward completing the tests and investigating the results.
The Badu announcement comes just weeks after a group of black men across the region announced that they would join the campaign, which is at the heart of a unique public-private partnership to raise money for public use. That so many people are stepping up to help makes it less heartbreaking that justice was denied so many women for so long.
The dollars raised so far have funded tests of thousands of kits and allowed Worthy to establish a county prosecution team whose sole mission is to investigate the rapes connected to the kits.
Shahida Mausi, president and CEO of the Right Productions, said the 490 Challenge would get $5 from each ticket sale as well as the proceeds from a $100-per-ticket reception before the concert and $1,000-per-person VIP reception with Badu after the show. Organizers said tickets to both receptions are 100% tax deductible.
Organizers, who include the Circle, a local black women’s social issues group, hope to raise $50,000 toward the 490 Challenge’s goal of raising $657,090 by year’s end. The 490 Challenge has raised about $250,000 so far from efforts that included a fund-raising competition between black sororities and a contest last year between supporters of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.