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Erykah Badu is donating concert proceeds to rape kit project

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Erykah Badu has teamed up with a Detroit charity working to identify rapists: Partnering with event company The Right Productions, the R&B mainstay will donate proceeds from her August concert at Detroit’s Chene Park Amphitheater to the African American 490 Challenge, a local campaign named for the $490 cost of processing untested rape kits.

The project’s parent organization, Enough SAID (Sexual Assault in Detroit), was formed after more than 11,000 untested rape kits were found in a Detroit police warehouse in 2009. As of March, approximately 10,000 of those kits have been tested; the 490 Challenge is raising money to complete the process.

Badu will give the 490 Challenge $5 from each ticket sale, as well as proceeds from a $100-per-ticket reception and a $1,000-per-person VIP reception. Her funds will help boost the project toward its fundraising goal of $657,090 by 2017.

“This is a huge day for Enough SAID/AA490. Everyone knows that Erykah Badu is a major, major talent in the music and songwriting industry,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worth, who’s fundraised for the campaign for years, said in a statement. “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.”

Badu has a long history in social activism: In 1997, she founded Beautiful Love Incorporated Non Profit Development, a charity devoted to arts-driven engagement for inner-city youth in her hometown of South Dallas, Texas. As an outreach effort for B.L.I.N.D., Badu traveled to Africa, where she worked with children affected by AIDS and poverty, in 2003.

“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,” 490 Challenge president Kim Trent said in a statement. “We are very excited that she is lending her considerable talent to our cause.”

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