For the conference partners of the Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc. and Women Veterans Social Justice Network your safety and health is our number one priority. In light of that and the international health crisis arising from the COVID-19 virus, we are moving the Women Veterans Military Moral Injury Conference in Charleston to an online platform. We believe that this conference is extremely important to the future health and well-being of our veterans and servicewomen. We are leveraging technology to enable you to experience virtually all of the aspects of this conference as if we were together in Charleston. The live broadcasts will take place during the original timeframe – March 26 and 27.

Collaboration and relationship building are two of the most important features of this conference. To that end, we are creating an online community platform that will give you special access to private chat room discussions, live webinars and recordings, resource lists, online collaboration, and exclusive content. The platform will be a way to connect with veterans, community health professionals, chaplains, and other faith leaders to continue the discussions about moral injury and enhance post-traumatic growth. If you have already paid your registration fee, you will gain access to the live broadcasts from Charleston and a one-year subscription to the new platform once it launches. The live broadcasts will take place during the same time frame as the original conference – March 26-27, and we expect the new platform to launch within a few months.

If you have not paid your $50 (non-refundable) registration fee, you will want to do so right away. There is only space for 100 active participants on the broadcasts and we don’t want you to miss out. In the next few days, as we finalize the details, we will give you the information you need to log in to the system and access the conference. To pay your registration fee, go to this PayPal link: http://bit.ly/PayNowLink. When checking out in PayPal, please be sure to enter your email address so that we can send you the conference log in details.

Hotel Rooms
For those of you who used the discount code to reserve a room at the Cambria Charleston Riverview, all of those rooms will be cancelled on Monday. If you still want to travel to Charleston for personal reasons, you will need to call the hotel at (843) 766-4322 to rebook. There will be no conference personnel at the College of Charleston. The entire event is taking place online via Zoom.

Certificates of Attendance
For those of you who paid for a certificate of attendance, we are still working out the best way to handle that and ensure you get credit for your attendance and receive a proper certificate. We will provide that information in the email with the log in details.

This is a major shift, but what is emerging from this challenge is much greater than we originally planned. The online platform we are building will provide greater ongoing connectivity, mutual support and resource sharing than we could do at a two-day conference. We still plan to hold on-site conferences in the future once the health crisis is over, but in the meantime, we will continue to push forward on tackling the problem of moral injury in military women.

Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc. (MISNS, pronounced “missions”) and Women Veterans Social Justice Network will co-host the Women Veterans Military Moral Injury Conference: Research, Recovery, Resources, and a Call for Compassionate Community Responsiveness in 2020. One event will take place in Charleston, South Carolina, March 26-27, and the other in Richmond, Virginia, May 14-15. The conferences will bring together women veterans, researchers, mental health professionals, and chaplains to learn about new assessments, treatments, and resources for military-related injuries, including moral injury, and address regional lay leaders in how to assist them in transitioning well into their civilian communities.

Moral injury is a term that refers to the inner conflict military service members feel when their sense of moral rightness is violated during their time in the service. Initial findings of a current study underway on moral injury for women veterans conducted by Dr. Daniel Roberts of Roberts Research and Consulting and Joann Kovacich, Ph.D. of the University of Phoenix suggest military sexual trauma is one common cause of moral injury, as well as witnessing atrocities, killing in combat, and being forced to do things that are against one’s moral values.

Both military chaplains and civilian clergy have a special role to play in the well-being of service personnel. Military chaplains are often the first person a soldier talks to when he or she experiences difficult circumstances. Once service members leave the military, civilian clergy and Veterans Administration (VA) chaplains can provide care, but civilian clergy often do not know how to “speak the veteran’s language.” Veterans are often hesitant to reach out to people they do not know.

The conferences aim to address these problems by putting military chaplains, civilian clergy, and women veterans in the same room. Veterans will get a chance to tell their stories. Researchers who specialize in moral injury, soul care, PTSD, and mental health will share their latest findings, and clergy and mind/body/soul practitioners will describe healing modalities. The conference leaders hope to create an environment for positive relationships and future collaboration. Registration for attendees is open at: Registration Form.  

To make the conference affordable for veterans who are on limited budgets, registration is very inexpensive. If people register at least 10 days before an event, their investment is only $50 and includes the program book and a great event of professional speakers, roundtables, and workshops. Within 10 days of an event (after March 15th or May 5th), their portion is $75. Even at that rate, it will be well worth it. The conferences are open to people of all genders. Non-profit organizations, government agencies, and faith communities pay half price for exhibitor space and ads. Sponsors, exhibitors, and donations are needed to defray the cost of the event and provide travel scholarships for those veterans who are short on funds. There are many levels of sponsorship, from $10,000 to $500. Sponsorship benefits include exhibitor space, company logo in program books, advertising on web pages, luncheon tickets, and opportunities to present your organization at the conference.

We also accept donations. Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc. and Women Veterans Social Justice Network are 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that accept tax-free cash and in-kind donations. Consider donating cash for veteran travel scholarships or in memory of a woman veteran or chaplain. In-kind donations may include food, beverages, paper goods, hotel rooms for veterans or speakers, technology assistance for disabled veterans, program printing, welcome bags and other items.

Downloadable Documents:

To find out more, contact:
Dr. Dan Roberts, Conference Chair/Coordinator
Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc.
droberts@chaplainconsultants.com  910-690-5964 
Dr. Christiane O’Hara
WVSJ Network
christianeohara@wvsjnetwork.org or christianeohara@gmail.com 

Conference Advisor:
Women Veteran Social Justice Network (non-profit) https://www.facebook.com/4wvsj/
EIN 45-5296843 and

WVSJ Network is the lead advising agency on this project and provides leadership on program and event development, cultural competency, and other important aspects. WVSJ Network is an outreach and community based non-profit working to bring together national and local resources available to women veterans in a single, easy to understand and navigable resource. The online social network organization started with peer support groups that utilized social media and education, to inform, support and advocates on behalf of women veterans. It  focuses on issues of Military Sexual Trauma (MST), Moral Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), homelessness, suicide awareness and prevention, and VA and community based services and benefits available to women veterans and their families.

WVSJ continues their primary mission of providing information, education, encouragement, and support to women veterans, regardless of the era in which they served, as well as support tools and resources to the veteran’s families and the community at large. It supports and partners with others in the academic, military, faith, and other communities in joint programs of benefit to women veterans.

Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc. (MISNS, pronounced “missions”) specializes in education, research, and advocacy in military chaplaincy and soldier care. MISNS’ research focus is on pastoral support to female service members. Women are an underserved population when it comes to spiritual leadership and support. By conducting studies with female service members as the primary population, MISNS is able to develop theories and practices that will enhance the lives of women in the military.

As an educational and training organization, Moral Injury Support Network for Servicewomen, Inc. helps men and women in the chaplaincy hone their skills as religious professionals and care providers. MISNS also works with seminaries, religious groups, and professional chaplain organizations to provide content for continuing education and professional growth. MISNS’ training inventory includes seminars, case studies, keynote speeches, class curriculum, and other products.

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