Civil rights figure Myrlie Evers-Williams has been chosen to deliver the invocation at President Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 21, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Tuesday.
Mrs. Evers-Williams is the widow of Medgar Evers, the NAACP official who in 1963 was murdered at his home in Jackson, Miss. She fought for 30 years to bring his killer to justice and is a distinguished scholar at Alcorn University in Lorman, Miss. She has won numerous civil rights awards.
“I am humbled to have been asked to deliver the invocation for the 57th inauguration of the president of the United States — especially in light of this historical time in America when we will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the civil rights movement,” she said in a statement. “It is indeed an exhilarating experience to have the distinct honor of representing that era.”
The committee said Mr. Obama had a role in selecting Mrs. Evers-Wiliams and in choosing Rev. Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, to deliver the benediction.
“Their voices have inspired many people across this great nation within the faith community and beyond,” Mr. Obama said. “Their careers reflect the ideals that the vice president and I continue to pursue for all Americans — justice, equality and opportunity.”
Rev. Giglio is founder of Passion Conferences, a movement that brings together college-aged people in events such as worship and raising awareness about human trafficking.