Evers-Williams, Giglio to give invocation and benediction at inauguration


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Myrlie Evers-Williams, a civil rights activist, will give the invocation, and the Rev. Louie Giglio, the pastor of the Passion City Church in Atlanta, will give the benediction, according to the PIC announcement. The inaugural ceremony is Jan. 21.

"Vice President Biden and I are honored that Myrlie Evers-Williams and Rev. Louie Giglio will participate in the Inaugural ceremony," Obama said in the PIC statement.

Evers-Williams is the widow of Medgar Evers, who had been the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) Mississippi field secretary when he was shot and killed in Jackson, Miss. Evers-Williams spent three decades seeking justice for her husband's death and eventually founded the Medgar Evers Institute in honor of Evers's civil-rights work. 

Giglio is considered one of the highest-profile evangelical Christian pastors. He has been prominent in efforts to end human trafficking, according to CNN.

"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," Evers-Williams said in a statement.

Giglio also said it was a "privilege" to give the benediction.

"It is my privilege to have the opportunity to lead our nation in prayer at the upcoming inauguration in Washington, D.C.," Giglio said. “During these days it is essential for our nation to stand together as one."

According to the PIC, Obama was involved in selecting Evers-Williams and Giglio.

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