Skip to main content

Voices. Knowledge. Solutions.

Bringing People Closer Together: Annual Meeting Keynote Speaker Chris Singleton to Discuss Unity, Reconciliation

Microsoft, Volvo, the biogenetics company Biogen, or professional sports teams like the Houston Texans or the Washington Wizards — Chris Singleton speaks in front of many audiences across the nation, counting more than 80 each year, but having grown up in North Charleston, it’s only in South Carolina that he can say he’s home. 

The story of how this former professional baseball player entered into public speaking connects more directly for the in-state engagements. Some of his core messages, the idea that “love is stronger than hate,” came to national prominence because of his connection to a tragedy that South Carolinians know well. 

In 2015, Singleton’s mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, became one of the nine victims murdered because of their race in the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Some of the keys of Singleton’s messages include race reconciliation, forgiveness, overcoming adversity, and always unity — “how we can be united with our clients, with our colleagues, with our families, with the world.” 

Singleton will serve as the keynote speaker at the Municipal Association of SC 2023 Annual Meeting, taking place July 27 – 30 at the Hyatt Regency Greenville. 

He said he always takes care to tailor his message to his audience, which in this case, includes many local leaders — mayors, councilmembers, city managers and administrators. A key connection here, he said, is that leaders are those who “want to bring people together,” and exploring that tendency provides a way to promote unity and reconciliation. 

In the years that he has been traveling and spreading his message, Singleton said “the mission has always been the same — bringing people closer together. But the way in which I articulate it has definitely evolved over the last five or six years.”
Problems like incivility, or community discourse breaking down along racial lines, are concerns that he said he has seen no matter where he has traveled. 

“A lot of people think that the problems they have are unique, whereas I’ve seen very similar problems, whether it’s South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama or North Dakota. Everywhere it’s happening,” he said. 

Find more information on the Annual Meeting online. The hotel registration deadline is July 3 and the deadline to register for the meeting itself is July 13. Learn more about Chris Singleton.