Big Sean raises $100,000 for Flint children

The Detroit rapper appeared on ‘The Daily Show,’ saying the Flint water crisis is not ‘close to being over’

Stephanie Steinberg
The Detroit News

Detroiter Big Sean appeared on “The Daily Show” Tuesday night, telling host Trevor Noah that his foundation has raised about $100,000 for children in Flint and that the water crisis is “not even close to being over.”

“It was not even a natural disaster,” he said. “It’s something that should’ve been prevented and could’ve been prevented, so it’s just disgusting to think about the damages that these families and even kids have to go through with the lead poisoning.”

His nonprofit, the Sean Anderson Foundation, is raising money on behalf of Community Foundation of Greater Flint Michigan. As of Wednesday afternoon, a CrowdRise campaign called #HealFlintKids, which Sean launched last year, had raised nearly $80,000. Sean personally donated $10,000 to kickstart it.

“Flint's children were hit the hardest and some have experienced permanent and potentially devastating health defects from lead poisoning,” the website states. “We know the needs of Flint children exposed to lead, particularly those most vulnerable — children ages 0-6 — are ongoing and long-term. You can be assured that your gift will be used for critical interventions today and well into the future.”

On “The Daily Show,” the 28-year-old also revealed that his mother had suffered lead poisoning.

“It was very hard for her to deal with, but she was able, through holistic care and homeopathic remedies, was able to reverse a lot of the effects,” he said.

The rapper is scheduled to perform at the Fox Theatre in Detroit April 1. The concert will showcase Sean’s fourth album, “I Decided,” which debuts Feb. 3. The Flint Chosen Choir will be featured on the last track called “Bigger Than Me.”

“Once you hear it, you’ll see why I wanted them to be on (‘Bigger Than Me’),” Sean said. “But I was just happy to have Flint be a part of my album.”

Flint’s water troubles began in April 2014, when the city was controlled by an emergency manager appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder. The city ended its partnership with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to save money and switched its water source to the Flint River. A lack of corrosion treatments to the water resulted in lead contamination.

One of the most vulnerable populations is children. A lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Michigan and the Education Law Center in October alleges nearly 30,000 Flint students up to age 19 were exposed to high levels of lead at home and in school. The exposure can cause health issues including stomach pain, brain damage, fatigue and hearing loss.

On Tuesday, state officials announced that Flint tap water is meeting government guidelines for lead levels, but residents should continue to use filters.


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Twitter: @Steph_Steinberg