Why we started this project
As longtime activists, nonprofit and grassroots trainers, and progressive technologists who know how movement organizations work. We designed Stronger NYC Communities to feature digital security workshops that hold space and care for our communities, friends, and extended networks as they confront digital threats.
We created space for both instruction and for building trust and relationships between trainers and participants. Through our external evaluation process, led by researcher Jordan Kraemer, we learned that workshop participants found the structure of the workshops highly effective. Participants felt that the facilitated instruction by trusted trainers built foundational knowledge and peer exchange allowed for learning and strategizing around practical challenges of implementing digital security policies inside of organizations.
Every day, New York community-based organizations, staff, and members use digital tools in outreach and advocacy work. But with a political climate that is increasingly hostile, organizations that serve members of communities under threat face an increased burden of responsibility for protecting data about their own organizations and about the populations they serve. For example, vulnerable communities across New York City are seeing an increase in online and offline threats, from cyber harassment, phishing and fraud/impersonation to questionable uses of their data. Because of this, the Stronger NYC Communities initiative was designed to advance the digital security capacities of community-based organizations that work directly with immigrant populations. Importantly, these trainings address the unique challenges of participant groups as they tackle evolving digital security threats to their organizations, and to NYC residents whose data they collect, store and share.
Who the project designers are
This project was led by a team from Research Action Design (RAD) with funding from Mozilla Foundation, core partnership with Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Mayor’s Office of of the Chief Technology Officer. A cohort of 10 trainers who serve non-profit organizations stewarded the project together with RAD, facilitating a series of digital security workshops with 16 community based organizations serving immigrant populations in New York City.
We acknowledge that this work draws on our prior experiences with individuals and organizations in the technology for social justice field and social movements.
We hope you get a lot out of these!
The content of this guide came out of an eight-month project in 2017-18, lead by digital security trainers, technologists, and organizational leadership.
The project was lead by Sarah Aoun and Bex Hong Hurwitz.
Curriculum written by Rory Allen.
Workshops, activities, and worksheets were developed by Nasma Ahmed, Rory Allen, Sarah Aoun, Rebecca Chowdhury, Hadassah Damien, Harlo Holmes, David Huerta, Bex Hong Hurwitz, Palika Makam, Kyla Massey, Xtian Rodriguez, Sonya Reynolds .
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International, May 2018
This work funded by Mozilla Foundation, and supported by the NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, NYC Mayor’s Office of the CTO Office, and Research Action Design.