Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has donated more than $300,000 (GBP150,000) to an African empowerment charity. The Def Jam Records co-founder presented a cheque for $311,535 (GBP155,767) - made via his Simmons Jewelry Company - to executives of the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) this week (ends18Jan08). The DEF is an international non-profit organisation, also founded by Simmons, which aims to provide funding for education programmes designed to motivate Africans in countries where diamonds are a natural resource. The donation is the amount raised so far by the sale of items from the Simmons Jewelry Green Initiative collection, which began last year (07). Celebrities including Beyonce Knowles, Vanessa Hudgens and Mischa Barton have all been reported to be owners of the Green Initiative's signature piece - a bracelet made from genuine green malachite beads and a rough diamond.