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Civil Rights Leader With Oregon Ties Delivers Obama Invocation

OPB | Jan. 21, 2013 3:30 p.m. | Portland

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A civil rights leader with Northwest ties delivered the invocation at Monday’s inauguration in Washington D.C.

Myrlie Evers-Williams

Myrlie Evers-Williams

U.S. Department of State

Myrlie Evers-Williams is the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, and is a former head of the NAACP. She has for many years had a home in Bend.

In her invocation, Evers-Williams called for courageous – but cautious – leadership from the president. Her prayer emphasized the historical context of Barack Obama’s re-election.  

“150 years after the emancipation and 50 years after the March on Washington, we celebrate the spirit of our ancestors, which has allowed us to move us from a nation of unborn hopes, and a history of disenfranchised votes, to today’s expression of a more perfect union,” she said.

Evers-Williams’ invocation was the first address after President Obama came to the stage – and the last before the Inaugural Address. 

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