BY KALISHA MENDONSA
Burman University’s Herr Lecture Series is preparing to host an inspiring speaker, Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire, a respected and world-renowned government advisor, humanitarian, former Canadian Senator and soldier.
Dallaire has been awarded many praises and much recognition following his work in Rwanda during the tragic 1994 genocide.
During this time, Dallaire was appointed Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda, and disobeyed orders to evacuate so that he could protect those seeking refuge during the terrible massacre.
Dallaire will speak on March 20th at 7:30 p.m. in the Lacombe Memorial Centre. The event is free to the public, but is only recommended for a mature audience.
Glenn Graham, director with the Herr Lecture Series, said this is a very exciting event for the community.
Dallaire will speak about his experiences before, during and after Rwanda, including his life with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Graham said he is perhaps most excited to hear Dallaire speak about the future and the prevention of future conflicts.
“We are very excited to be bringing this lecture to Lacombe. General Dallaire is seen as something of a hero; he warned the world about what was going to happen in Rwanda before it happened, and unfortunately the international community didn’t respond to his warnings,” Graham said.
“He did his best to divert the crisis but was unsuccessful. He has since written a best-selling book about his experiences, titled Shake Hands with the Devil: the Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. This award-winning book also provided a landscape for an award-winning documentary, and later a feature film of the same name.
“He will be speaking about his experiences, and his life with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But more than that, he is going to be speaking about the future. He’s going to talk about the prevention of future conflicts and how people can get to that space,” Graham said.
The goal of the Herr Lecture Series is to open the local community to issues facing our own citizens, as well as connecting them to the stories and issues of those outside the City, province and country, organizers say.
The Series brings leading experts to Central Alberta to address pressing social and political issues in a thoughtful way.
“Romeo Dallaire is very engaging, and he will be able to speak to a broad audience. He’s a very intelligent person with a lot of experience and knowledge, but presents it all in a very engaging way. He is also a very passionate speaker,” Graham said.