Building Communities of Hope & Resilience

Virtual Territorial Social Services Conference

Find Out More

Event Details

The theme for the Virtual Territorial Social Services Conference, Thriving Together - Building Communities of Hope and Resilience, encapsulates both the challenges and opportunities that we face in fulfilling The Salvation Army's mission during the pandemic. Since the pandemic's onset, we've encountered a whole new world of restrictions, lingering uncertainty, fear, and profound losses. Along with the pandemic challenges, widespread irruption of political, racial, and social unrest has called for a renewed focus on understanding and addressing the disparities and injustices experienced by the individuals and communities we serve.

Throughout this season, frontline personnel, whether they be officers, employees, volunteers, or soldiers, have come together to respond to the most pressing needs in their communities. To be sure, our long-standing and difficult community work often comes at a personal emotional, and spiritual cost. The conferences’ plenary sessions and workshops provide insights into the emotional, mental, spiritual, and self-care needs of personnel who provide frontline services, counsel, leadership, and pastoral care. We trust that through your participation, you will be refreshed, informed, equipped, and inspired to respond to new opportunities to Build Communities of Hope and Resilience, for ourselves, your teams, and those we serve.

Thriving Together is a free, virtual conference on March 24 & 25. This event is limited to social services employees of Salvation Army United States Central Territory. Please register by March 19th.


View the schedule below and read detailed workshop descriptions.


  • 8:30am
    PLENARY SESSION I. Thriving Together - Caring for Ourselves
  • 10:45am
  • 11:00am
    Workshops: Session 1
  • Noon
    Lunch Break
  • 1:00pm
    PLENARY SESSION II. Building Communities of Resilience
  • 2:30pm
  • 2:45pm
    Workshops: Session 2


  • 8:30am
    PLENARY SESSON III. Building Communities that Love
  • 10:45am
  • 11:00am
    Workshops: Session 3
  • Noon
    Lunch Break
  • 1:00pm
    PLENARY SESSION IV. Building Communities that Hope and Seek Justice
  • 2:30pm
  • 2:45pm
    Workshops: Session 4

Special Guests

Susan Biali Haas

An award-winning medical doctor, Dr. Susan Biali Haas' life passion is to equip people with the knowledge, skills, and tools to live better lives. Formerly clinically depressed and burned out, Dr. Biali Haas turned her life around by extensively studying how to overcome these two debilitating conditions. Today, she inspires a broad range of clients - from military leaders and senior executives to physicians and other health care professionals - to take control of their mental and physical health and start living more impactful, meaningful lives.

Internationally recognized as a health and well-being influencer, Dr. Biali Haas is in demand as an expert for national and international media. She has been featured on The Today Show and The Marilyn Denis Show, as well as, Forbes, Fast Company, The Chicago Tribune, Self, Fitness, Health, Martha Stewart Living, People, InStyle, Elle, Prevention, The Washington Post, The New York Post, and The Globe and Mail.

A popular blogger for Psychology Today, Dr. Biali Haas' columns have attracted more than seven million views. In addition, Dr. Biali Haas was invited to be a member of Chatelaine magazine's Health Advisory Board, and was the "Embrace Life Expert" for Reader's Digest Best Health magazine. She also contributed to Reader's Digest's bestselling book, The Swap and Drop Diet, consulted as a coach for Cosmopolitan, and appeared on the "Cosmo Happy Hour" podcast.

Whether leading an intimate workshop or delivering a rousing keynote to thousands, Dr. Biali Haas shines as a passionate teacher. She has presented to a variety of organizations, government agencies, associations, and universities across North America.

Dr. Biali Haas holds a Doctorate of Medicine and a Bachelor's of Science in Dietetics from the University of British Columbia. She has received numerous academic and personal awards. Dr. Biali Haas has been recognized by American Express as a "Real Life Potentialist," someone who has branched from traditional paths to reach their full potential through pursuit of their passions. She also dances flamenco professionally and has performed on stages from Canada to Latin America.

Sarah Smarsh

Sarah Smarsh is an author, speaker, and journalist who focuses on socioeconomic class and rural America. Her book Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, an instant New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award, examines economic inequality through her upbringing among the working poor on a Kansas farm.

Sarah has reported on socioeconomic class for The Guardian, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper's, and many other publications. Heartland was named a "best of 2018" by NPR, Fresh Air, the Boston Globe, Amazon, Buzzfeed, Barnes and Noble, and Publishers Weekly. In addition to being short-listed for the National Book Award, Heartland was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, the Lukas Prize, the Indie Choice Award, and an Audie Award for Smarsh's reading of audiobook. Actor -producer Sarah Jessica Parker selected the title for the American Library Association's Book Club Central. Her new book, She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs, was named a must-read book of 2020 by Time Magazine.

Sarah is a regular political commentator in national media and has spoken internationally on poverty, rural issues, and cultural divides at venues ranging from small-town libraries to the Sydney Opera House. Sarah was recently a Fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. In 2019, Sarah released a podcast entitled The Homecomers, which focuses on how a national blind spot toward rural and working-class America is driving misleading headlines, broken politics, and dangerous fissures in our social fabric. The podcast showcases stories of people who, as residents or advocates, remain committed to their complex, embattled homes.

By ninth grade, Sarah attended eight southern-Kansas schools, ranging from a 2,000-student high school to a two-room prairie schoolhouse. Now, she holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, as well as degrees in journalism and English from the University of Kansas. A former English professor and grant-writer for social service agencies, Sarah aims for all of her work to have a backbone of civic responsibility.

Dr. Marcus Arrington

Well known in the Milwaukee community as an educator for nearly 18 years and most recently held the position of principal at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School from 2014-2019. Arrington currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Parklawn Assembly of God, a church with over 100 years of service to the Greater Milwaukee Metro Area. He is a proud graduate of Grambling State University and holds doctorates from Cardinal Stritch University and Hope Bible Institute and Seminary. Arrington has also authored three books "Young, Anointed and Empowered," "The African Presence in the Bible for Children" and most recently "When Hope Finds a Home: The Influence of Caring Adults on the Lives of Urban African American Youths." Arrington's objective is to personally and collaboratively leverage faith and professional resources to influence positive change in individuals, groups, organizations and communities. This objective aligns well with the mission, vision and values of Parklawn, well-known for its positive impact in the Sherman Park community. Arrington is the loving husband of one wife, Crystal and father of two amazing children, Jacen (13) and Makaila (8).

Major Susie Erickson

Major Susie Erickson is a Salvation Army Officer in the USA Southern Territory. She is a speaker, writer, and encourager who helps women see God in their story through her ministry in The Salvation Army.

Susie studied at Evangeline Booth College, The Salvation Army International College for Officers, and Arrow Executive Leadership. She has served in various field and headquarters appointments throughout thirty-three years of service. She recently published her first book, Barefoot Cinderellas - Set the Captives Free.

You will find Susie where women gather, spreading hope to the broken and lonely as she lifts downcast faces up to see God. Her unique blend of "sisterhood theology" makes her current appointment as the Assistant Territorial Secretary for Women's Ministries a natural fit.

Susie enjoys gardening, baking, and hiking with her husband, David.

International Guests

Lt Colonel (Dr) Dean Pallant

Dean Pallant was born and educated in Zimbabwe and studied at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He worked in personnel management in the South African mining and manufacturing industry before moving to the UK. Dr Eirwen Lowther and Dean were married in 1993 and have served as corps officers in the UK, and at THQ. In 2007, the Pallants were appointed to The Salvation Army's International Headquarters where Dean was International Health Services Coordinator (2007 to 2014); Under Secretary for Programme Resources (2010 to 2014) and Accountability Movement Coordinator (2011 to 2016). In March 2015, Dean and Eirwen were appointed to lead the International Social Justice Commission based in New York, USA.

In April 2019, Dean was appointed to his current role as Secretary for Communications, United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland. His responsibilities include public affairs and social policy, marketing, fundraising, public and media relations, digital, publications, ecumenical relations and the International Heritage Centre.

Dean completed his doctorate in theology at King's College, London in 2011 focusing on practical and political theology. His first book Keeping Faith in Faith Based Organizations, was published in 2012. His second book, To Be Like Jesus - Christian Ethics for a 21st century Salvation Army, will be released in October 2019. Dean has lectured around the world including Finland, Kenya, India, Pakistan, Canada, USA, Norway, Israel and Argentina.

Colonel Richard Munn

Richard Munn was born in London, spent his childhood in the Congo and in 1987 was commissioned as a Salvation Army officer in the USA East.

He and Janet have served as corps officers, divisional leaders, USA East territorial cabinet and principals of the International College for Officers, London, UK.

Recently Richard served as Chief Secretary, Australia East and Secretary for Theology and Christian Ethics, USA East.

He and Janet currently serve as directors of the International Social Justice Commission, New York City

Richard received a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. His thesis assesses the egalitarian leadership model of The Salvation Army.

Richard and Janet have two young adult children, Nealson and Olivia - married to Pratik Munn-Shirsath - and one grandson, Roman Miles, all residing in New York City.

Andrew Wileman

Andrew is the Deputy Director for the Salvation Army Older People's Ministries Team at Territorial Headquarters in London, England. He line manages the team of Regional mission specialists for older people working on a range of programme development projects with the 635 Corps in the 22 Divisions across the UK and Ireland Territory.

Prior to that Andrew held management roles in Research and Development and the Anti-Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Team. He was directly involved in the management and monitoring of the UK Government contract that the Salvation Army holds regarding the care and support for all adult victims of Human Trafficking in England and Wales.

He holds a B.A and Masters Degree in Applied Theology from the University of Gloucestershire. He has served as a Church leader, an International Development Manager for UK charities, and a Communications Director and Academic Tutor for Moorlands Bible College before moving to the Salvation Army in 2012.

Andrew is a regular public speaker in Corps and Centres and on local and national media and has wide experience in Social Justice issues both in the UK and overseas, particularly his focus on the Salvation Army's work with Older People, Social care and Human Trafficking in Eastern Europe where he has visited many times.

Andrew is a fourth generation Salvationist and originally hails from the City of Sheffield in the North of England, but currently lives on the South Coast of England and has been a local officer at the Winton Corps in Bournemouth for the past 20 years.

He is married to Karen, and has a son and 2 teenage daughters.