GREAT BAY, St. Martin (January 15, 2023) -- The Rev. Nolan Nanton received the Lilliane Stephen Award here on Saturday, January 14, following his delivery of the 36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture.
“The Reverend Dr. Nolan Nanton of the New Testament Baptist Church was presented with the Lilliane Stephen Award for his community service in St. Martin,” said Shujah Reiph, lecture organizer and president of Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF).
The reverend thanked CLF and encouraged Reiph and the audience of over 200 people to work “together” and with love in the service of St. Martin. During his lecture and the Q&A session that followed, he said, “We need a revolution in education.”
The theme of Rev. Nanton’s lecture, “Religion and Conscious Actions,” also touched on aspects of history, racial discrimination, and social justice. “When a people don’t know themselves, they settle for abuse,” said the minister.
Rev. Nanton, well known for his weekly SOS Radio program about love and relationships, also said that love is essential to overcome hatred as the human spirit was not made to hate.
In one comment, he noted that learning about and experiencing injustices can cause anger. However, that feeling of anger should not be misunderstood or suppressed simply as anger for anger’s sake, because “The anger we feel at times is a cry for justice,” said Rev. Nanton.
The CLF award recipient for service in 2022, joins a list of over 30 St. Martin people and organizations, such as Francois Carty, Clara Reyes, Florencia Hunt, and SXM Trails, that have received the long-running award, said Reiph.
The CLF community service award was renamed this year in honor of the activist and politician Lilliane Minelva Stephen who died in 1996 after a car accident. Reiph said on Sunday that the decision by the CLF board to rename the award has a personal significance for him.
“It was Lilliane who inspired me to start the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture in 1987. We worked closely on the first lecture organized by SMECO that same year,” said Reiph. CLF picked up the lecture series in 1997, following its 10-year run organized by the St. Martin Cultural and Educational Organization (SMECO).
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