About Us

The Salvation Army Central Territorial recognizes the need to more formally address social justice issues and recommitting to urban mission by being in community with and working alongside as many people as possible.

In order to take a step in that direction, in March of 2019, we secured a property in the Lakeview East community of Chicago, which will be the future site for the Center for Social Justice and Urban Mission (CSJUM).

Under the leadership of our first Territorial Secretary for Social Justice and Urban Mission, Major Katherine Clausell, the Center’s purpose is to be the prophetic voice of The Salvation Army in the Central Territory.

It is being established to make a deeper and more sustainable impact on the lives of suffering people and struggling communities than the provision of social services can achieve alone.

We strive to be a resource for training and technical assistance; a brave space to explore difficult topics.

We seek to educate, equip, and engage The Salvation Army and anyone who wants to join us on this journey towards social justice and urban mission.

Our Team

Major Katherine Clausell

Major Katherine Clausell is a first-generation Salvationist who currently serves as The Salvation Army Social Justice and Urban Mission Secretary in the Central Territory.  She has held Corps appointments in Omaha, NE and Green Bay, WI; institutional appointments serving as Executive Director for the Denby Children’s Home in Detroit, MI and the Minneapolis Harbor Light Center in Minneapolis, MN; and Divisional appointments as Divisional Social Services Director in the Heartland Division (Peoria, IL) and the Northern Division (Roseville, MN).  Major Katherine is passionate about addressing societal issues that prevent people from being all that God created them to be and has welcomed the opportunity to serve on local and national boards that seek to address issues related to generational poverty, healthcare for individuals experiencing homelessness, the opioid crisis and, most recently, issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion.   Major Katherine (as she likes to be called) obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Purdue University and a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!).  Prior to her acceptance as a candidate for officer training, Major Katherine worked extensively in the field of Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice research at Northwestern University Psycho-legal Studies Department.  Major Katherine is the parent of one son (Kristian), is a National Park Service enthusiast and has a growing obsession with orchids.

Clara Novy

Clara came on staff as Administrative Assistant in June of 2021.  She has been with the Army since 2006.  She has formerly served as an Administrative Assistant for The Salvation Army College for Officer Training, in the Personnel Department, the Campus Life Department and for Administration.  She grew up in rural Wisconsin and spent her summers working in Wisconsin Dells. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Carthage College in vocal performance.  She now lives with her husband, two children and two dogs in the Northside Chicago Suburbs.

Elyse Dobney (she/her),

Social Justice and Urban Mission Director, joined the CSJUM team in July of 2021. Prior to this role, Elyse worked for The Salvation Army STOP-IT Program in Chicago for more than 13 years. While with the STOP-IT Program, Elyse was able to work with survivors of all forms of human trafficking, provided leadership to the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force, and facilitated trainings and technical assistance to community agencies, local churches, health care providers, and law enforcement on human trafficking identification and engagement, building collaborative responses, and trauma-informed care. When not working, she has become a reluctant lover of camping and hopes to visit all the National Parks the US has to offer – only 54 to go!

Core Values

In accordance with The Salvation Army International Mission Statement and a renewed sense of mission to the least, the lost and the last, the Center for Social Justice and Urban Mission is called to be the prophetic voice of The Salvation Army Central Territory.

It has been established for the purpose of making a deeper and more sustainable impact on the lives of suffering people and struggling communities than the mere provision of social services can achieve.

It is our aim to raise up a diverse network of Social Justice Champions across the Central Territory who are empowered, through training and equipping with resources, to comprehend context, analyze situations of injustice, bring a biblical perspective to situations and identify innovative, appropriate actions to take. We strive to act with integrity and openness, sharing ownership of the work to which we are called with all those interested in joining us in this journey.

Informed by love and bathed in prayer, we believe that these core values are fundamental to achieve our purpose:

Accountability

We believe that accountability is vital to achieve social justice. In order to be accountable, we strive to acknowledge and assume responsibility for our actions, outcomes, decisions and policies and their related consequences.  This must be applied on both individual and organizational levels.  This core value is marked by:  Trust, transparency, prophetic witness/critique and confession.

Community

We believe that we are designed by God to be in community, locally and globally. As such, we commit to being in community with those around us, both through our physical building as well as through our efforts to seek true social justice by contributing to society and demonstrating personal and corporate social responsibility.  We are dedicated to fostering true partnerships and doing right by and for our stakeholders.  This core value is marked by:  Partnerships and collaboration, inclusion, mutuality, participant leadership, hospitality, generosity, embracing differences and a visible presence in communities, particularly those that have been marginalized.

Sustainability

We believe that we are called to be good stewards of all resources we have been given, which requires the CSJUM to utilize a holistic approach that considers the present ecological, economic and social dimensions. We recognize that what we do today has implications for the future.   This core value is marked by:  Stewardship of resources, balance, a holistic response, trauma-informed care, self-care, uncompromising standards, and succession planning.

Advocacy

We believe that God has placed us in a position to engage in advocacy, speaking out in support of and/or on behalf of all persons and the world in which we live for the purpose of promoting equality/equity, inclusion and human rights.  We acknowledge that self-advocacy is the ultimate aim for all people, and we seek to equip others to accomplish this goal.  This core value is marked by:  Listening, analytical thought, prophetic critique, and challenging systems of oppression.

Transformation

We believe that God is calling The Salvation Army to be a transformative presence in the lives of all we encounter, creating important, lasting change in lives and the communities in which we all live and serve.  We seek to leverage our power and resources to transform how TSA interacts with the people we are called to serve and support. We are dedicated to holding space for difficult conversations and learning from mistakes in order to truly affect change. This core value is marked by:  Holiness, healing, shalom, brave spaces, and addressing harmful imbalances of power.