The widow of Medgar Evers, Myrlie Evers-Williams, will deliver the invocation at the president’s public swearing-in ceremony Jan. 21. It is believed that it is the first time a woman and a layperson, rather than a clergy member has been chosen for such a task. It is also a very fitting choice, since the President’s inauguration coincides with Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Additionally, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the murder of Medgar Evers. Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers, is presently Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi. Furthermore, The benediction will be given by conservative evangelical pastor Louie Giglio, founder of the student-focused Passion Conferences. Louie Giglio, whose conferences draw thousands of young evangelicals, was chosen in part for his work in raising awareness about modern-day slavery and human trafficking.
Additionally, the 2013 Inaugural Ceremonies theme, “Faith in America’s Future” commemorates the United States’ perseverance and marks the 150th anniversary of the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol dome.