Suite Talk: Howard University School of Divinity Dean Alton B. Pollard, III – Finding Clarity Amid Chaos, Looking Back and Moving Forward


Photo by Tim Viola

Just as one would expect, Dean Alton Pollard’s office at the Howard University School of Divinity is lined with bookcases teeming with scholarly tomes. But what makes the place unique is his collection of African art sitting atop pedestals and hanging from the walls.

Perhaps the most significant piece in his collection, a statue of the Sankofa bird, resting on his desk is almost obscured by the stacks of books, papers and computer monitor nearby. Yet, even in that relative obscurity, it is a powerful reminder of the importance of learning from the past—especially amid the chaos and tumult of our current times.

“Return and get it,” the statue speaks.

Reflection gives way to reexamination, giving way to revelation.

Our inspiring and thought-provoking conversation with Dean Pollard covers a lot of ground, but is centered on providing a paradigm for viewing the current social and political milieu, what history teaches us and how we can chart a path forward.

Brought to you in two parts (look for the second installment in a few days), Dean Pollard waxes prophetically about the role of faith leaders in today’s climate and how the spirit of the divine doesn’t just exist in houses of worship, but is imbued in even the subtleties of daily life.

Here’s a video snippet of our conversation.

I invite you to set aside some time to sit, listen and reflect on this powerful message. Lean in, lean back and enjoy!

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