Now that we are at the cusp of finishing the design portion of this project, Resilient Communities would like to highlight some of the successes we have had thus far. Currently, we have trained a total of 24 Digital Stewards and are in the process of training 12 more individuals on the community technology approach to building their neighborhood wireless networks. Throughout the design phase, Community Coordinators signed up a total of 61 small businesses to host the networks. With the design phase finally coming to an end, Resilient Communities is excited to announce that the construction of community networks is set to begin Spring of 2018.
With these project transitions, comes exciting yet bittersweet staff transitions. Resilient Communities Director Greta Byrum has accepted a new role as the Co-Director of the Digital Equity Labs at The New School, where she will continue her work in developing, researching, and evaluating community technologies. The Resilient Communities team is grateful for her tireless work building community resilience through community networks, and we wish her luck in her new position!
Alongside Teresa Basilio, who will continue to lead partner engagement through her work as Deputy Director, former Program Manager of the Resilient Communities project, Houman Saberi will now serve as Deputy Director. Technology Coordinator and Training Specialist Raul Enriquez will take on increased responsibilities and now serve as the Technology and Training Manager. New to the team, Karina Sanchez has joined Resilient Communities as a Program Associate. Katherine Ortiz, Program Associate for Resilient Communities, gave birth to an exuberant bundle of joy on January 13, 2018.
As for PNK updates, there is now a running PNK network in the Commonwealth of Dominica and our partners in Puerto Rico, The Community Land Trust of the Caño Martin Peña communities in San Juan, are excited to use the PNK to provide internet access and a local network to the community via a local school. They are hoping to develop the digital literacy of their students by using the PNK to understand how the internet works and explore the importance of digital literacy to their communities.
Stay tuned as we plan to update this space throughout the process of constructing each of our five neighborhood networks!