NINETY SIX — Unity. Chris Singleton is on a mission to teach it and spoke to students in Ninety Six about it Friday.

Singleton, a son of one of the victims of the racism-fueled Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting in 2015, spoke at the elementary, middle and high school in Greenwood School District 52 on Friday.

“Ever since that day I wanted to say ‘How can we come together how can we be united with people that look different from one another, think different from one another, believe different than one another, how can we be united?’ And I started on this mission of teaching that, teaching unity,” Singleton said.

He spoke about the tragedy and how it changed his life. He shared memories of his mother and the people he has met since that day.

“Sometimes I feel like we’re in a world that’s really divided and we can unite our schools, man, the next generation, that’s a good place to start,” he said.

Ninety Six High School Principal Darin Rice said he saw a video of Singleton speaking a few years ago, and wanted to invite him to the school in 2020, but couldn’t because of the pandemic.

He said he hoped students got the message about unity and loving your neighbor.

“Ninety Six is a great place but we have our issues, we have our student issues, and really wanted our kids to just see the other side,” Rice said.

“Like he says, everyone has a story, so really just wanted our kids to understand that everybody has a story and that we can agree to disagree but still be respectful to each other.”

Singleton left the students urging them to help teach people and to remember that behind every stance is a story, and to honor his mom by doing so.

Contact staff writer Lindsey Hodges at 864-943-5644 or on Twitter @LindseyNHodges.