New America’s Resilient Communities Program Announces Community Partners for RISE : NYC

New America’s Resilient Communities program, one of 11 projects being implemented through NYCEDC’s Resilient Innovations for a Stronger Economy (RISE : NYC) program, is thrilled to announce its partnership with six community anchor organizations in Superstorm Sandy-impacted neighborhoods citywide.

Each of these community-based anchor institutions will run a technology training program for local residents with New America’s support. The trainees will build local wireless networks that provide digital access as well as a critical resource for emergency preparedness.

New America’s six community partners include:

These community-based organizations are joined by New America’s technical implementation partner Sky-Packets, a local wireless firm that has installed public WiFi networks across New York City in addition to other U.S. and international cities. Along with Sky-Packets, trainees from the six neighborhoods will install wireless networking equipment to serve small businesses.

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with these organizations, each of which is already doing vital work in its local community,” said Resilient Communities Director Greta Byrum. “We see our collaboration as unique opportunity to build digital infrastructure that is deeply rooted in community values and responsive to community needs.”

Resilient Communities Program Manager Houman Saberi added that “the RISE : NYC project is a testament to the idea that community resilience doesn’t just mean ‘bouncing back’ from a disaster—it means that bouncing back stronger and equipped with tools that empower communities.”

"Our team will be closely working with our community partners to create a visceral, safe, and collaborative environment to engage local residents to become Digital Stewards” elaborated Resilient Communities Technology Coordinator and Training Specialist Raul Enriquez.

Resilient Communities held five days of orientation and onboarding for its community partners August 9-10 and 16-18 to explore the ways local communications systems can bolster community preparedness and build local economies across New York City.


Greta Byrum was the director of the Resilient Communities program at New America.

Raul Enriquez is the technology coordinator & training specialist at New America’s Resilient Communities program.

Andy Gunn was a program fellow with the Resilient Communities Project and Open Technology Institute at New America, where he partnered with communities to build and govern their own digital communications using the principles of Community Technology.

Katherine Ortiz is a program associate at New America’s Resilient Communities program. In this role, she helps communities become more resilient by training them to build their own mesh network infrastructure.

Houman Saberi is a program manager in the Resilient Communities program for RISE:NYC. In this role, he is helping to build resilient community wireless networks in Sandy-affected areas of the city in partnership with local businesses, civic organizations, and residents.