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Roméo Dallaire to receive 2019 Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship

Roméo Dallaire to receive 2019 Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship
Evening to feature General Dallaire and Mme. Clarkson in conversation about human rights, personal trauma, and our shared responsibilities as global citizens today, along with a special performance by Rufus Wainwright

TORONTO, August 22, 2019 — Lieutenant-General (ret) The Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire, best known for serving as Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda prior to and during the 1994 genocide, has been named recipient of the 2019 Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship. This timely recognition, on the 25th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, is an urgently needed reminder of the very real consequences of inaction in the face of growing divisions in Canada and around the world.

General Dallaire’s lifetime of work is woven together by a common thread. He brings to light issues too often ignored. He forces us to acknowledge and act on uncomfortable truths. He works to make the world a better place for its most vulnerable. He has been named the 2019 Laureate in recognition of this work and to honour his courage and resilience in transforming trauma into action.

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson commented on why General Dallaire was chosen as this year’s recipient, saying, “Roméo Dallaire, by his actions and his humanity, made the Rwandan genocide real to all of us. His attempts to awaken the world’s conscience and his subsequent struggle to deal with his own trauma have made him a figure who personifies humanity and its attempts to defeat the forces of darkness. As soldier, senator, and advocate for the helpless, General Dallaire continues to remind us that no human is more human than any other.”

The Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship will be presented in Toronto on Wednesday, September 25 in Koerner Hall at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. The evening will include a special performance by Rufus Wainwright, and feature General Dallaire in conversation with Adrienne Clarkson about vulnerability, darkness, hope, and an optimistic but urgent call to action. Tickets are available here.

“25 years ago today, I departed from Rwanda injured, even broken, but profoundly awake to the responsibility we have to each other as human beings and global citizens.  In these perilous times, similar to those in 1994 when nearly two million refugees were fleeing one tiny country for their lives, it is critical we see ourselves beyond borders and as citizens who share an ethical covenant to respect and protect one another.  Because every human is human; a sentiment powerfully acknowledged by this humbling recognition from Madame Clarkson.”, reflected General Dallaire.

The Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship is awarded annually to a leader whose life work has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the ideals of belonging and inclusion. Through words, actions, and results, recipients encourage thought, dialogue, approaches, and strategies that strive to remove barriers, change attitudes, and reinforce the principles of tolerance and respect. Former winners include His Highness the Aga Khan, Ai Weiwei, and Margaret Atwood. The prize is presented as one of the signature events of 6 Degrees Toronto, the global forum for inclusion.


About Roméo Dallaire
General Roméo Dallaire is the founder of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, a global partnership with the mission to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.  A celebrated advocate for human rights, General Dallaire is also a respected author, government and United Nations (UN) adviser, and former Canadian senator.

Throughout his distinguished military career, General Dallaire served most notably as 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, but 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.

Whether as military commander, humanitarian, senator or author, Roméo Dallaire has penetrated our national consciousness, often in supremely uncomfortable ways. He continues to work tirelessly to bring national and international attention to situations too-often ignored, whether the atrocities of the Rwandan genocide, the struggle that he and many other military veterans face with post-traumatic stress disorder, or the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

About 6 Degrees
6 Degrees is the global forum for inclusion. A project of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, we bring people together from around the world, challenge assumptions, and find solutions and actions to counter growing divisions in society. 6 Degrees connects and empowers global citizens with real tools to push for inclusion, diversity, and citizen resilience. This year, 6 Degrees Toronto will take place September 23–25 at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, and Corus Quay. Tickets and more information on the entire 6 Degrees forum, including the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship are available here.

About the Institute for Canadian Citizenship
Powered by a passionate national network, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) encourages active citizenship and inclusion, creates opportunities for Canadians from different backgrounds to connect, and develops research and advocacy to move those goals forward. Our community focused programming blends tech and arts and culture to deliver our Canoo app that gives new Canadian citizens free access to more than 1400 cultural sites during their first year of citizenship. 6 Degrees extends the reach of the ICC’s work through a global conversation on inclusion and citizenship in the 21st century. The ICC is a national charity co-founded by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul.


To arrange an interview with Adrienne Clarkson:
Abra Rissi
Executive Assistant
Office of the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson

To arrange an interview with General Roméo Dallaire:
Jessica Dee Humphreys
Executive Director
Office of Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire