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CCU holds Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

January 7, 2011

The Rev. Graylan Hagler of Plymouth Congregational Church in Washington, D.C., is the featured speaker for the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 13 in Wheelwright Auditorium at Coastal Carolina University. The event is free and open to the public.

The Universitys Inspirational Ambassadors (Gospel Choir) will also be featured. The campuswide celebration is part of the University's 2011 African American Legacy Series, which will continue with events celebrating unity and diversity through April 19.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Md., Hagler founded a congregation in 1980 in Boston, Mass., where he was pastor for 12 years.

In 1992 Hagler became the senior minister of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C. He is also the national president of Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice (MRSEJ).

Hagler is known for his public activism in the District of Columbia. He led a campaign in opposition to the building of an Exxon super gas station near his church; the property now houses an apartment building for the elderly. Hagler worked to preserve the only publicly funded hospital in the District of Columbia, organized a successful effort to oppose the death penalty from being instituted by the U.S. Congress on the District, and continues to oppose public school vouchers, which he sees as a plan to divert funds from public education to private schools.

Hagler is on the Steering and Administrative Committee of United for Peace and Justice, a national coalition working to oppose aspects of U.S. foreign policy that the group believes contribute to war and aggression. He is also the development director of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), the largest neighborhood stabilization organization in the United States, which helps working-class people become homeowners.

This event is co-sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. For more information, call the University's Office of Multicultural Student Services at 843-349-2863.