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Claflin University will hold its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Program at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, in the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center.

Dr. Aurelio D. Givens, CEO and life coach of The ADG Group, will deliver the keynote address. Themed "We Are All One Humanity," the event is free and open to the public.

Givens received a bachelor of science degree in sociology from Francis Marion College (University), a Masters of Divinity degree from Gammon Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in sociology of religion from ITC.

He is a great visionary who in 1993 established the Prayer, Praise and Worship Centers of America Inc. Givens presently provides guidance to the ministries that are members of the PPW Fellowship. Previously, he served five years as a pastor in the S.C. Conference of United Methodist Church before launching the PPW Fellowship.

In 2015, Givens was sought out to serve as the national faith director by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign when Sanders was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

As a licensed funeral director, Givens served as the principal organizer for the services for Rosa Parks; led the coordination of the logistics for the official NAACP delegation at the services for Coretta Scott King; served as logistical director and organizer for the services for Dr. Benjamin Hooks; and led the logistical coordination for the services for Troy Davis. He also serves as a certified grief counselor.

Givens is affiliated with several civic and social organizations, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.; Suburban Lodge #213 Free & Accepted Masons, P.H.A.; Booker T. Washington Consistory #250; Unity Chapter #370, Order of the Eastern Stars (Worthy Patron); 100 Black Men of America Inc.; and Concerned Clergy of Kershaw County.

He is the father of Kendall Givens Little, who is married to the former Cortney McIntire, both graduates of Claflin University.

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