“As Black History Month draws to a close, I want to highlight the work of Medgar Evers and his wife Myrlie Evers-Williams - two individuals who I admire tremendously and who have influenced me in my career of public service.  

“Medgar and Myrlie were civil rights activists that led demonstrations, voter registration campaigns, and organized the community around ending racial segregation and discrimination in America.  They were both very aware that their activism and involvement in the movement would come with severe risks, namely the safety of their family.  Yet, they also knew that taking those risks were necessary so their children, and their childrens’ children, and all people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or economic status,  have equal rights and opportunities to succeed.  

“The strength of Medgar and Myrlie Evers is truly inspirational.  My wife and I named our son Jack Evers Smith, not only to commemorate the Everses who have influenced my own life, but also to show that their strength and commitment live on in our youth today.  As we reflect during this Black History Month, we must recommit ourselves to carrying out the work of Medgar and Myrlie by ensuring that all Americans have equal rights and opportunities.”