How we can wear jeans to work and presumably assistance solve a rape case

April 23, 2017 - fall Denim

It costs usually $490 to examination any pack — a clinical pointer of a iniquitous act.

So when some-more than 100 African-American women stood together in easterly Detroit 18 months ago and affianced to lift a appropriation indispensable to examination a final of 11,341 passionate assault kits that had been found abandoned and untested in 2009, they named their plea after that cost: AA490. Lab workers recently found an additional 555 untested kits collected since 2009.

That’s 11,896 kits, stories that were left but an ending, cases usually now being solved or closed. And only 619 kits sum sojourn to be tested, Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller pronounced this week. We are so close. We can do this.

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The AA490 bloc comprising leaders of nonprofits, sororities, companies and village groups has lifted a whopping $451,000, But a leaders contend as they nearby a finish of a campaign, that they need one final pull to lift about $206,000 to accommodate their idea before a finish of April, that is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

That’s 9 days, folks. And this village should join their final push.

The women have worked tirelessly: hosting a face-off between alumni of a University of Michigan and Michigan State University during a annual football classic, ascent a fund-raising foe between African-American Greek sororities, arranging a special reach-out to African-American men’s groups, removing luminary Erykah Badu to benefaction income from her new Detroit unison and dozens of small projects from bake sales to convincing people to benefaction birthday money.

“I speak to survivors whose kits have been among those processed, and this debate has been one of a many impactful things in my life,” pronounced Kim Trent, boss of a Enough SAID AA490 Challenge. “I ran into a survivor in a grill whose pack had not been processed, and she pronounced she felt like she had her life back. That’s usually something we still can’t speak about  without removing tears in my eyes. … People have to remember that these kits are trustworthy to tellurian beings whose lives were impacted in a disastrous way. We’re assisting them retrieve their power. That, for me, has been many satisfying.”

Now, here’s what we can do: AA490 is celebrating International Denim Day on Wednesday  by seeking any business in metro Detroit to allow — or encourage — its employees to wear denim for a $5 concession any to AA490.

They’ve already got some takers.

Hundreds of employees at the UAW Solidarity House, UAW-GM Center for Human Resources, UAW-Ford National Programs Center and a UAW-FCA National Training Center are being asked to donate $5 any to participate.

“The UAW Women’s Department was planning an educational debate for a members and International Union UAW employees to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” pronounced Cindy Estrada, UAW Vice President and Director, UAW GM Department and UAW Women’s Department. “When Kim reached out for our support … we knew it would be a clever transformation that people could take to bond to the recognition campaign. We’re emphasizing that passionate attack impediment is everyone’s issue, and we all have a right to work and live in a protected and healthy environment.”

Fifth Third Bank will benefaction deduction from a bi-weekly dress-down day now toward subsequent week’s total.

And a City of Detroit upped a ante, seeking city workers to wear denim subsequent Wednesday in sell for a $10 concession to AA490. The organisation also has scheduled dual other fund-raisers — a karaoke jubilee Saturday of a song of Prince, one year after his death, and a Jeans for Justice conform uncover subsequent Wednesday.

C’mon… a concession to wear jeans? How easy is that? With tens of thousands of companies opposite metro Detroit, this could be a home run we wish for in a bottom of a ninth. A conform uncover ticket? You can buy one even if we can’t go.

When we consider of immature women disregarded in a worse approach imaginable, afterwards carrying to continue a rape exam, usually to have a justification lay in a room with no one acid for their assailants, it creates me sick.

That we still are operative to routine a kits and get a monsters off a streets creates me mad.

That impulse 18 months ago when a women stood on a frail tumble day and pronounced “Enough!” was absolute adequate to motivate vital giving. Now they’re seeking a many inexhaustible village in a nation to puncture a small deeper since they wish a win.

“We’re unequivocally unapproachable of a work we’ve finished to lift recognition about rape enlightenment and to uncover a universe a energy of black women when we work together,” Trent said. “We wish to encourage corporations to welcome Denim Day and concede their employees to wear denim. It would send a absolute summary about those corporations’ joining to finale rape enlightenment and ancillary Detroit in a suggestive way.

In further to Denim Day and a other fund-raisers, AA490 also announced that lipstick maven Melissa Butler of is donating $10 from a sale of any $15 tube of a lipstick she combined usually for a AA490 debate called 100 Proof.

As a organisation completes a work giving back, it also is removing a gift: tellurian confirmation of its efforts. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and AA490 leaders will join Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, feminist author bell hooks and romantic Angela Davis among honorees during this year’s Black Women’s Blueprint Words of Fire discussion on Apr 29 at Atlanta’s ancestral Spelman College. The summit, to be hold jointly with Spelman’s Women’s Research and Resource Center, will respect black feminists who have worked tirelessly for justice.

“I was floored when we saw a discussion parcel and a size of black leaders who are being respected during Words of Fire,” Trent said. “And that we are among them? we consider we unequivocally did blink how closely people were following a debate on a inhabitant level. To be in a association of people that is usually breathtaking.”

Worthy — whose solo bid to get a kits tested spawned a statewide bid led by Enough SAID,  an eccentric partnership comprising the Michigan Women’s Foundation, a Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and a Detroit Crime Commission — expressed thankfulness for a work of AA490 and Enough SAID.

“It is essential that money, awareness and alertness continue to be raised,” Worthy said. “The tour to probity for a passionate attack survivors has done poignant advances interjection to a loyalty of a women and group who have taken adult this cause.”

The find of Detroit’s untested kits garnered inhabitant attention, and as many as 400,000 untested kits were found in cities opposite a nation including Las Vegas, Dallas and Toledo, officials with Enough SAID told a Free Press.

Thanks to fund-raising opposite a state over a past few years, Worthy was means to allot a special section to a kits. Those investigations have resulted in 78 people being convicted, including some sequence rapists. The section is now questioning 334 other suspects with some-more than a thousand some-more still in a queue.

As we stood in a travel that day final fall, examination all those women lined up, station up, banding together to assistance find probity for victims, we felt story being made. we saw everyday, unusual women get in formation. To contend they altered a review would be an understatement.

That impulse was Detroit, in all a past can-do suggestion and in all a destiny we-will hope.

I wish that some-more women — and group — will step adult to not usually speak about a city’s issues, not usually to approach fixes, to be partial of a resolution rather than usually speak about a problem.

Detroit should be a sea of denim subsequent Wednesday, with companies opposite a segment collecting donations from jeans-wearing employees.

All it takes for a transformation is to say, “I’m in.”

To benefaction to a debate to examination and examine rape kits, revisit Or we can write checks to Michigan Women’s Foundation (with AA490 combined in a memo line) and mail to:

Michigan Women’s Foundation
615 Griswold St., Suite 1020
Detroit, MI 48226

To pointer your association adult for a International Denim Day AA490 challenge, send an e-mail to

Upcoming events 

• Purple Karaoke for a Kits, a jubilee of Prince song one year after his death, will be hold 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday during a Loft during 1420, 1420 Washington Blvd. in Detroit. Admission is $30. For tickets, visit It is being co-sponsored by Our Detroit Vodka and Detroit City Distillery.
• The “Jeans for Justice” Fashion Show will be hold during 7 p.m. Wednesday during MotorCity Casino’s Sound Board. Twelve internal designers will benefaction their creations, pronounced planner Larmender Davis. “The idea is to applaud International Denim Day, to offer as a culminating eventuality for a AA490 debate and to commend a internal agencies that will continue providing approach caring to passionate attack survivors,” she said.  Tickets
$25 for ubiquitous seating and $49 for reward seating are accessible at

• Melissa Butler, of, combined a shade of lipstick called 100 Proof; $10 from a sale of any $15 tube goes to AA490. Visit for details.

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