Social Permaculture for Food Justice Online

STOCKSCH 397 SP – 3 Credits

January 22 – May 1, 2018

Register Here

Course Description

Access to fresh foods in urban centers
Access to fresh foods in urban centers

Social Permaculture for Food Justice  prepares students with methodologies from the fields of permaculture design and social justice to enact change in the food system. Students learn tools to help them critique food system inequities, articulate goals for social change, and analyze their own power, privilege, and competencies as makers of change. Finally, students are guided through a permaculture design process in which they create social design models to catalyze the changes they wish to see in the food system. Through out the course, there is an emphasis on maintaining personal sustainability as food justice activists and developing leadership skills.

INSTRUCTOR:  Abrah Jordan Dresdale is certified in Permaculture Design and holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Landscape Design and Food Systems Planning from the Conway School. She lives in rural and culturally vibrant Western Massachusetts where she spent four years developing and coordinating the nationally recognized, interdisciplinary Farm and Food Systems degree program at Greenfield Community College. She teaches college courses on permaculture design, food systems, and Jewish agricultural traditions at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Greenfield Community College, and Brandeis University Summer High School Programs. Her edible landscape design business, Feeding Landscapes, has developed projects ranging from a Public Food Forest for the Town of Wendell, MA, to the design and implementation of “Edible Pathways” for Sadhana Forest in Auroville, India to providing technical support for the creation of a campus permaculture garden at Wesleyan University. Her current focus is on her consulting business, where she is developing a prototype Jail-to-Farm-to-College Pipeline at the Franklin County Jail and social permaculture curriculum for non-profit organizations such as Omega Institute and The Jewish Farm School. More at: www.abrahdresdale.com

If you have questions, please contact Abrah Dresdale at: feedinglandscapes@gmail.com

Learning Objectives

  • Articulate components of a food system
  • Understand permaculture ethics and principles
  • Demonstrate knowledge of permaculture design process
  • Identify food justice and food sovereignty issues
  • Apply the permaculture design process to eco-social food justice projects
  • Understand the relevance of diversity and difference in the context of the food system
  • Describe how power, privilege, and oppression operates
  • Articulate tools for undoing oppression
  • Outline strategies within solidarity economics
  • Engage with ecology of leadership practices

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ASSIGNMENTS

5%—Glossary of Permaculture & Food Justice Terms

20%—Class Participation & Weekly On-line Response Discussions

20%—Permaculture Analysis & Leadership Development Exercises

25%—Lifestyle Shift Design Project

30%—Food Justice Design Project

COURSE OUTLINE

SECTION I: FOUNDATIONS

  • Week 1: Current Context for ‘A Call to Action’
  • Week 2: Introduction to Social Permaculture
  • Week 3: Mapping Our Individual Power and Collaborative Potential

SECTION II: PRIVILEGE, OPPRESSION, AND FOOD JUSTICE

  • Week 4: United to End Structural Racism in the Food System
  • Week 5: Food Worker Justice & Challenging a Corporate Controlled Food System
  • Week 6: Food Sovereignty Struggles—Facing our Grief and Celebrating our Victories

SECTION III: DESIGNING FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

  • Week 7: Social Permaculture Design Process
  • Week 8: Social Permaculture Analysis Tools for Leveraging Systems Change
  • Week 9: Working Effectively in Groups: Communication Tools & Policy Advocacy                                                               

SECTION IV: WORLD-CHANGERS’ TOOLBOX

  • Week 10: Personal Sustainability and the Importance of Self-Care
  • Week 11: Regenerative Leadership Development in the Food System
  • Week 12: Reframing Our Work in a Wider Context of People and Time
  • Week 13: Skills for Catching and Committing to a Vision
  • Week 14: Becoming a Conduit for Implementing and Sustaining Social Change

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 Texts (most may be ordered on Amazon):

  • Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agriculture Systems in the Americas by Beverley Bell and Tory Field (may be ordered here)
  • Permaculture and People: Caring and Designing for Ourselves, Each Other, and the Planet by Looby Macnamara
  • Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone
  • Additional assigned readings

Additional Resource: Building a Toolbox for Social Permaculture

Students delivering gleaned apples to a Food Bank

REGISTER HERE

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This class is part of the Sustainable Food and Farming Online Certificate Program and will count toward the Associate of Science program.   Online classes cost $472/credit.  If you would like to register for the Certificate program, you may apply here.

To begin planning for the future, see….

Annual Class Schedule

NOTE: The UMass Sustainable Food and Farming Certificate has been declared eligible for Veterans Educational Benefits. For instructions see: Veterans Benefits.

If you are not interested in earning college credit, there are many non-credited workshops and short courses you can take outside of the university.  For a list see: non-university workshops and courses.

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