Full concert choir 2002 2003

Serving as an Ambassador for Chicago to the World: Insights from a Uniting Voices Alum

For alum Kim Patterson and her brothers, Uniting Voices was a family activity. The organization allowed her to discover corners of the city that she might otherwise never have explored, and her brothers to explore the world. This love for Chicago is what brought her to the Obama Foundation, where she's now worked for eight years. She currently is the Visitor Engagement Senior Associate at the Barack Obama Foundation where she manages special tours for the Obama Presidential Center. Prior to that, she served as the Events Senior Associate, she planned and executed all community based events including the Foundation’s participation in summer festivals and parades, community roadshows, and service projects across the South and West sides of Chicago. Before she started at the Obama Foundation, she attended Ohio State University and worked at high-profile web companies like and

We caught up with Kim to learn about what she misses the most about her time in Uniting Voices, and how the organization shaped her love for Chicago.

Uniting Voices: What was your favorite song from Uniting Voices to perform?

Kim Patterson: One of my very favorite songs by Uniting Voices is "Shosholoza." Every time I hear it I’m reminded of my older brother, Reggie, and his transformative experience traveling to South Africa with the choir. I also get a vision of my younger brother, Burton, leading the choir into a room with the powerful “train” choreography. It’s such a beautiful song and when I think about the choir I think about "Shosholoza."

UV: How did your experience in Uniting Voices shape how you think about the city of Chicago?

KP: My brothers and I are so fortunate to have a mother who made sure to expose us to as many opportunities as possible growing up and the choir was a prime example of that. We grew up on the South Side of the city, but through the choir we were able to explore all of Chicago, and even the world for my brothers. It also exposed us to a beautiful diversity of connections from a young age. My love of Chicago runs so very deep, and now in my career at the Obama Foundation I couldn’t be prouder to not only be bringing a world class institution to the community that I grew up in, but also highlight our city to the rest of the world.

UV: What albums are you listening to these days?

KP: Renaissance by Beyoncé is on constant rotation. Also a big fan of anything 90’s/00’s R&B.