Virtual Event - The Moral Injuries of COVID-19

Date: Thursday, November 12th 2020

Time: 12pm EST

A moral injury can occur in response to acting or witnessing behaviors that go against an individual’s values and moral beliefs. As we honour those who have served in times of war on Remembrance Day, join us for a serious discussion with Lieutenant-General (ret) The Honorable Roméo A. Dallaire in conversation with the Executive Director of The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security, Dr. Shelly Whitman, on mental health and moral injury – be it on the battlefield or at home.  This discussion will touch on themes such as veterans’ mental health, mental health during a crisis (with particular focus on Covid-19), and the work of The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security.


Lieutenant-General (ret) The Honorable Roméo A. Dallaire is founder of The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security, the global partnership with the mission to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children in violence.  A celebrated advocate for human rights, especially in regards to child soldiers, veterans, and the prevention of mass atrocities, General Dallaire is also a respected government and UN advisor and former Canadian Senator. Most notably, General Dallaire was appointed Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda prior to and during the 1994 genocide.  General Dallaire provided the United Nations with information about the planned massacre, which ultimately took more than 800,000 lives in less than 100 days; yet, permission to intervene was denied and the UN withdrew its peacekeeping forces.  General Dallaire, along with a small contingent of Ghanaian and Tunisian soldiers and military observers, disobeyed the command to withdraw and remained in Rwanda to fulfill their ethical obligation to protect those who sought refuge with the UN forces. General Dallaire’s 1997 revelation that he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a direct result of his mission in Rwanda paved the way for destigmatizing this potentially-lethal Operational Stress Injury among military veterans as well as first-responders.


Dr. Shelly Whitman took up the post of Executive Director of The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security in January 2010. In the eight years since, she has spearheaded the establishment and growth of the organization, signed MOUs with four countries, and today leads an international team based in Canada, Somalia, and South Sudan.  As the Intact Insurance Senior Fellow and a recognized subject matter expert, Shelly is regularly called upon to speak to global forums and provide media commentary on the issue of child soldiers. She has been a member of the Paris Principles Steering Group since 2016, and a member of the National Expert Committee on Countering Radicalization to Violence since it was founded in early 2019. She was also called upon by the Government of Canada to assist in the drafting of the Implementation Guidance of the Vancouver Principles.