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Claremont’s Pomona College Alum to Deliver Inauguration Invocation

Civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams was selected to participate in this year's inauguration. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of her husband, civil rights leader Medger Evers.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has selected Pomona College Alum and civil rights activist and scholar Myrlie Evers-Williams to deliver the invocation during President Barack Obama’s Jan. 21 inauguration ceremony.

She will be the first woman and non-clergy member to say the prayer that precedes the ceremonial oath, according to the Washington Post. Rev. Louie Giglio of the Passion City Church in Atlanta will deliver the benediction, officials said.

The ceremony is scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It will be the second time the federal holiday has coincided with a Presidential Inauguration since President Bill Clinton’s second Inauguration in 1997, according to members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

“This year is the 50th anniversary of the death of Medger Evers, Evers-Williams' husband who was a civil rights leader assassinated in front of their Mississippi home in 1963,” officials with Pomona College wrote in a news release. “The couple had worked together throughout the 1950s and early 1960s organizing voter registration drives and civil rights demonstrations.”

After her husband's death, Evers-Williams moved to Claremont with her three children, college officials wrote.

While still a student studying sociology at Pomona College, Evers-Williams wrote For Us, the Living, which chronicled her late husband's life and work, according to the college.

She was the first black woman to serve as head of the Board of Public Works of Los Angeles and, in 1995, became the first woman to head the NAACP, according to her bio.

Her autobiography, Watch Me Fly: What I Learned on the Way to Becoming the Woman I Was Meant to Be, was published in 1999. She is a distinguished scholar at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss., according to the bio. Her work and persistence kept her late husband's murder case open for 30 years; his murderer was convicted in 1994.

Vito Spago January 09, 2013 at 06:29 PM
A wonder Obama is even doing an invocation. Obama has got to be the weakest Christian the world has ever seen with his drone strikes that kill children and his abortions that kill thousands of unborn babies a year. With his support of queer marriages, I think Obama thinks he is even more important that Jesus himself.
Julia Nelson January 09, 2013 at 08:27 PM
One can be a Christian without being a frothing-at-the-mouth evangelical. The wars in which the drones are used were started by Republicans.
Vito Spago January 09, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Even Republicans would stop and killing children. All Presidents would go to church weekly. I do not think Obama even goes at Christmas and Easter. The Universal Life Church is the most liberal of all churches (if you can even call them a church). The Methodist Church is the most liberal of the real Churches and the Baptist is one of the most Evangelical. Ask Obama which or the churches he belongs to. Bet he is too stupid to be even able to name them
Julia Nelson January 10, 2013 at 06:58 AM
Abortion has been legal in the U.S. since 1973. That covers the administrations of a lot of Republicans -- Nixon, Ford, Reagan, both Bushes. Millions of abortions through all those administrations. If you think abortion is murder, which it isn't, because an early term fetus is not a person, then there are more guilty Republicans than Obama. In this country we have freedom of religion, so it's pretty much no one's business what someone else's religious practices are.
Richard Tamez January 10, 2013 at 09:49 AM
who cares, he out in 4 years. Lets see if these are any better that the first.

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