At around 9:05 p.m. on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, the Charleston Police Department began receiving calls of a shooting at Emanuel AME Church. A man described as white, with sandy-blond hair, around 21 years old and 5 feet 9 inches in height, wearing a gray sweatshirt and jeans, opened fire with a Glock .45-caliber handgun on a group of people inside the church during a Bible study. On that evening in June, Dylann Roof shot and killed nine innocent African-American individuals. At the time, this was one of the two deadliest mass shootings at an American place of worship.
The morning after the attack, police arrested Roof in Shelby, North Carolina. The 21-year-old white supremacist had attended the Bible study at the Church before he committed the shooting. He was found to have targeted members of this church because of its history and stature. Roof espoused racial hatred in both a website manifesto published before the shooting and a journal written from jail afterward.
One of the victims was Sharonda Coleman-Singleton– a pastor, as well as a speech therapist and track coach at Goose Creek High School. She was also the mother of Chris Singleton, a former minor league baseball player drafted by the Chicago Cubs.
Following the tragic loss of his mother, Chris made the difficult decision to embrace love and forgiveness, and not hate. He became a nationally-renowned speaker with a message of resilience, forgiveness and unity. He now shares his message with over 60 organizations annually and over 100,000 students and educators across the world. One of his children’s books, Different – A Story About Loving Your Neighbor, was a best seller in its category and has been featured by numerous outlets, including The Obama Foundation.
Chris’ overall mission when speaking is to inspire his audiences with his story of resilience and to unite millions of people with his belief that, “Love is Stronger Than Hate.”
“Ever since my mother was killed at my church back in 2015, it has become my mission to teach our young people to love one another despite their many differences,” said Chris. “My mother’s life was taken away because of racism, but I promise to keep using my voice to put an end to it!”
Chris Singleton will be the featured speaker at a special presentation to the Moose Fraternity on Friday, July 1st at 4:00pm at the Rosen Shingle Creek Orlando.