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Neo-Soul Artist Goapele Will Perform At Betty Shabazz Benefit Concert

 Genesis Bones (left) and Damia Freeman are Betty Shabazz Academy students.
Genesis Bones (left) and Damia Freeman are Betty Shabazz Academy students.
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GRAND CROSSING — Acclaimed Neo-Soul singer Goapele will perform at Betty Shabazz International Charter School's third annual benefit concert Oct. 26.

The concert will be held at The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave., and proceeds will be used to enhance student learning opportunities at the charter school's campuses at both Barbara Sizemore Academy, 6547 S. Stewart St., and Betty Shabazz Academy, 7823 S. Ellis Ave., school officials said.

Tickets are on sale at www.promontorychicago.com.

The school doesn’t have tuition so it relies on state funding, which has been declining, said Rika Lee, chief operating officer of the charter school.

“We really need support from the public and our friends now more than ever,” she said. “This year’s concert is exciting because we are celebrating 20 years of successful African-centered education.”

In 2016, Chicago Public Schools planned to close three South Side charter schools, including vSizemore Academy. But the state's Charter School Commission voted to save the charters.

The charter school became the first African-centered public charter school in Chicago in 1998. In 2005, it grew into a network of two K-8 elementary schools and one high school. 

Both of the Betty Shabazz campuses are heavily rooted in African culture. In February Maasai warriors from Kenya visited the students in Grand Crossing.