Moral Injury and Pathways to Recovery

Los Angeles, California
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Where will the conference be held?
Join us in Los Angeles, California, at the University of Southern California in the Trojan Ballroom: 3607 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, California 90089.

Will a hotel room block be available for this conference?
Yes. Room blocks have been contracted at two hotels: the USC Hotel (3540 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90007) and the Sheraton Grand Los Angeles (711 S Hope St, Los Angeles, CA 90017).

Note: The USC Hotel is conveniently located within walking distance from the the USC campus. While this hotel is very close to the USC campus, there are not as many nearby dining options.

The Sheraton Grand hotel is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. While this hotel offers many nearby dining and shopping options, it is farther from the USC campus and will require you to make transportation arrangements.

Will there be transportation from the hotels to USC?
We will not provide any transportation from the hotels to the USC campus. However, there are several convenient transportation options that attendees can arrange themselves.

Attendees who will be lodging a the USC Hotel should follow directional signs and conference staff to guide them to the event space.

Attendees who will be lodging at the Sheraton Grand can either arrange their own ride-sharing transportation or ride the LA Metro train (between the Expo Park/USC and 7th St/Metro Center stations). More details about riding the LA Metro (the quickest and least expensive mode of transportation), will be shared closer to the event date. 

Will parking be available at the USC campus?
Yes, there will be free on-campus parking reserved in the McCarthy Parking Structure (620 USC McCarthy Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089) for conference attendees. Free overflow parking will be available in the Downey Way Parking Structure (1067 W 36th place, Los Angeles, CA 90089).

Will there be early registration discounts?
Early registration discounts are available until April 15, 2019 for all registration types. 

What is the best airport to use for the conference?

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Will any of the sessions be recorded?
Yes, the first day plenaries will be recorded. In addition, Volunteers of America will publish a conference report and share with all attendees via email.

Will Continuing Education be provided?
Clergy and Chaplain CEUs, Clinical CEs, and CMEs will be available soon.

If I can only attend the first day, will I still be able to meet some of the faculty?
Yes, all faculty members will be present all 3 days of the conference.

What is your refund policy if I must cancel my registration?
There are no refunds after May 1, 2019.

What is Moral Injury?
Moral injury is a normal human response to having been harmed by someone we trusted or violating our conscience by committing, witnessing, failing to prevent, or hearing about acts or events that challenge our core moral foundations. It is a suffering so intense, it can lead to suicide. Learning how to address it can mean the saving of a career, a family, or a life.

It involves feelings of grief, outrage, betrayal, guilt, shame, remorse, or regret, and it isolates us through mistrust and a sense of failure or unworthiness. Moral injury can leave us struggling with questions of the meaning of our lives or our careers because we feel that we can no longer be trusted to do what is right; that we have become evil; or that we have no good choices in life. We may witness or endure horrible events and feel we have been contaminated by evil or do not deserve to survive.

The suffering of moral injury can be buried under overwork, outward success, a mask of expertise, or the fog of alcohol and drugs. But when these strategies fail, moral injury leads to desolation, depression, a mistrust of authority, a loss of faith and hope, emotional numbing or uncontrollable outrage, and despair.

The anguish of moral injury is a sign that our moral conscience is still working, but it has lost its bearings in a moral foundation. It’s as if our legs still work, but the building’s foundations are rocking or breaking so that standing is impossible.

Most research has focused on military veterans, but new research indicates moral injury exposure in medicine, the incarceration system, urban warfare gang life, and child welfare systems. It occurs especially in relation to experiences of extremity, moral ambiguity, trauma, and limited life choices. Moral injury has been confused with post-traumatic stress or PTSD, but it is possible either to experience moral injury alone or with PTSD.

Moral injury is a sign of our humanity because the moral judgments we make are not possible without a moral conscience. Our conscience presses us to process our pain, and relationships of trust and support are crucial to recovery. Join us in May to learn more!


Contact Information

  • Sophie Barry

    Phone: 703-341-5083

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