The New Deciders

“The New Deciders” examines the influence of voters from four demographic groups—black millennials, Arab Americans, Latino Evangelicals and Asian Americans. Viewers will meet political hopefuls, community leaders, activists and church members from Orange County, California, Cleveland, Ohio, Greensboro, North Carolina and Orlando, Florida, all of whom have the opportunity to move the political needle, locally and nationally.

Inaugural Prayers in History

In this lesson, students will discuss the diversity of clergy members who spoke or prayed at inaugurations since 1937. As Donald R. Kennon, Chief Historian of United States Capitol Historical Society in 2005, noted, "the role of clergy in our inaugural ceremonies is a recent development that began in 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt had a minister to give a benediction, and then his following inauguration had an invocation and a benediction. And it has involved Catholic priests. It has involved Protestant ministers. It's involved Jewish rabbis. So there has been a little bit more diversity. … [But we should remember that] religion supports the government. The government doesn't necessarily support or favor any specific religion…" Students will discuss: Is Kennon right? When a President-elect invites someone to pray at an inauguration, does that represent an endorsement of a particular religious view? Is it an expression that some views are legitimate and others are not? Who has not been represented at the inauguration?
Grade Level
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
Social Justice Domain