Chris Singleton is a professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization as well as an inspirational speaker who has been featured on ESPN’s E:60, Sports Illustrated magazine, and USA Today. The 22-year-old’s mother, Sharonda Coleman Singleton, was murdered along with eight other victims at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015.
Singleton was invited to Elder on February 6 to deliver his powerful message of faith, forgiveness, diversity and inclusion, and overcoming the unthinkable adversity to the students, faculty, and staff of the school. Elder also invited student- and staff representatives from fellow Greater Catholic League South high schools to attend the presentation, including St. Xavier, La Salle, and Moeller, as well as neighboring Seton High School.
Singleton's message is “to teach people to love each other, not based on race, religion, or skin color…just based on their true character,” and that “forgiveness is one of the true keys to happiness.”
The idea of the presentation was brought to the office of Elder’s principal, Kurt Ruffing, by 1989 graduate Mike Finley who lives and works near Charleston. The company he co-founded, 4M Iron, looks to engage in philanthropic efforts that support projects to impact youth. Sponsoring Singleton’s speaker series is one such effort.
Following a brief introduction by Finley, a short video was played describing a little about Singleton's background and the unthinkable events that transpired in 2015. Next, Singleton delivered his message to all those in attendance, including the entire student body, faculty and staff of Elder, and representatives from both St. Xavier and Seton high schools. After the presentation, Singleton sat down for a Q&A session led by 2006 Elder graduate and Cincinnati Enquirer sports reporter, Adam Baum.