Cycles of Resilience

The Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, along with Public Agenda, CUNY-Brooklyn College’s Center for the Study of Brooklyn and other partners, is working with Canarsie residents to identify issues, use science to refine ideas for action, and align emerging priorities with city, state, and federal efforts. To do this, we are developing an annual sequence of games, mapping, idea generation, and community-building. This ‘cycle’ can help create a stronger role for residents in prioritizing research and action in Jamaica Bay, including the 2020 participatory budgeting cycle. 

Community Care of Brooklyn

In my role at Center for the Study of Brooklyn, I represent Brooklyn College on the Community Action and Advocacy Work Group for Community Care of Brooklyn (CCB). I was also the PI on a grant to conduct research and do interviews with large purchasers and small businesses in central Brooklyn and support the Participatory Action Research project in the Summer of 2019 in Sunset Park.

Community Participatory Transformation

The Community Participatory Transformation is a joint research project with the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Federal University of Brazil, Porto Alegre (UFRGS).  Menser created a joint agreement with Prof. Eber Marzulo for a five year comparative research study (2019-2024) between Brooklyn College and the Federal University of Brazil, Porto Alegre on participatory democracy and urban social movements with a focus on participatory budgeting, housing, cooperatives, and sustainability. 

Resilient PB

“Resilient PB“ will create academic and non-academic programming on the topic of “creating a more just and resilient NYC” for the new city-wide participatory budgeting process (PB) as part of the civic infrastructure building activities of/for the new Civic Engagement Commission created in 2018 per the referendum to amend NYC’s charter.  The geographic focus is Brooklyn, but open to other jurisdictions.  Project planning starts in Spring 2020 and the grant runs officially through May 2022. 

Food and Resilience Gardens Hub

The BC Food and Resilience Gardens Hub (launching July 2020) aims to promote and interconnect school and community gardens and gardeners with Brooklyn College faculty, staff, and students to conduct research and support projects that promote food sovereignty and socio-ecological resilience in Midwood/Flatbush and other neighborhoods across Brooklyn. The Hub would be hosted by the Urban Sustainability Studies Program at BC and draw upon a range of faculty through the Center for the Study of Brooklyn (also at BC).

Community Energy Cooperative (CEC)

CEC is the NYC branch of COOP Power which is a cooperative based in western Massachusetts that helps low-income people of color who are renters install solar arrays, wind turbines and biofuel systems, which they eventually end up owning and managing. Professor Menser was asked to help form the board of the CEC early in 2019 and has been aiding them in their work in NYC.