Clark Atlanta University Learn Lead Change

Pearlie C. Dove Colloquium Purpose


Pearlie C. Dove Colloquium
Sponsored by the School of Education

The purpose of this colloquium is twofold: first, to crystallize the work of Dr. Pearlie C. Dove, whose back and shoulders, we, the School of Education have stood on for almost 5 decades and two, to reintroduce our self to ourselves. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

The history of African people in America, beyond our commitment to justice and equality, suggests that we have always had a special affinity for education. In spite of our horrific experience with the transatlantic slave trade, which no African was supposed to survive, we have come to know that if educated we could be empowered and if empowered we could change our social, economic, and political condition in this country. Moreover, we could help it live up to its egalitarian promise of treating all citizens (despite ethnicity, color, gender, religion, or class) with respect and dignity: an outcome it has yet to achieve.

As such the education of every child was paramount and supported by the entire community (or village if you will). Consequently, we created institutions like the black church and the historically black college and/or university (HBCU) i.e. Clark University, Clark College, Atlanta University and others to address our needs, concerns, and priorities.

But somewhere or somehow over past 30 years we’ve had a paradigm shift, wherein we have lost touch with our community, our ideals and especially our mission and vision. As a result our communities have suffered and our institutions of higher learning continue to fight against a propagandist agenda designed to demonize and discredit black schools; challenging their efficacy and ability to produce quality.

We now reside in a society where colleges and universities are reaching out to communities all over the world responding to political, socioeconomic, and educational needs. How will Clark Atlanta University respond against the backdrop of the aforementioned societal noise? The Colloquium is one response.

The colloquium lives to provide us with what Cornel West calls the beginnings to answer. The beginnings to an answer about how the School of Education and CAU provide an outlet; an intellectual safe space to craft new notions and ideas focused on local, national and global educational priorities.

This supposition is akin to the ancient Greek paradigm – the paradigm that fostered outdoor debates and lectures in amphitheaters designed to spur fervent dialogue and discourse. WE the School of Education at Clark Atlanta University will, periodically, furnish a similar setting to allow our community to engage us around how best we need to reconceptualize our work in the preparation of educators, counselors, and administrators in 21st century P12 schools and institutions of higher learning. That is the essence of this construct.