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Distinguished Alumna 

Alumna of the Conway School of Landscape Design

SPECIALIZATIONS 

  • Regenerative Design for Change Makers

  • Social Permaculture

  • Jewish Food & Farming Traditions

  • Jail-to-Farm-to-College programs

  • Food Justice and Food Systems Planning

PEDAGOGICAL APPROACH

  • Anti-racist, multicultural, & social justice framework

  • Service-learning projects

  • Interactive classroom teaching

  • Diverse guest speakers & connecting students with changemakers in their fields

  • Participatory presentations

  • Community planning charrettes & group facilitation

2016 Africa Conflict Transformation Fellow

Abrah studied cultural transformation, restorative justice, and healing from genocide with Memos in Rwanda.

2014 David Bird Service Learning Fellow

Abrah travelled to Tamil Nadu, India on a David Bird International Service Fellowship. Read her Edible Pathways project blog.

Recipient of Multiple Grants

Abrah has helped to obtain many grants to expand local agriculture, food and prison justice projects, and educational gardens for at-risk learners

BIOGRAPHY

 

Abrah Jordan Dresdale, MALD, lives in rural and culturally vibrant Western Massachusetts. She is an educator, social permaculture designer, and culture shift consultant. After completing her Permaculture Design Certification in 2008 in Austin, TX, Abrah obtained a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Landscape Design and Planning at the Conway School in 2010. For her thesis project, she co-authored Feed Northampton, a groundbreaking project in municipal food systems planning. She Co-Director of Regenerate Change and is Principal of Feeding Landscapes, a design and food systems consulting business.

 

Since 2011, Abrah has been Faculty for the Sustainable Food and Farming program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She was the Founding Faculty and Program Coordinator of the Farm and Food Systems program at Greenfield Community College. She continues to teach Introduction to Food Systems through the community college at the Franklin County Jail to incarcerated students. She was a co-founder of SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture and Green Energy) Education Center, which has gained national recognition for Greenfield Community College along with the Farm and Food Systems Program. Under her leadership and consultation, the college implemented a student-designed permaculture garden that grows food for the dining commons and campus food pantry. Abrah advised the student Permaculture Club and created one of the first accredited certificates with a track in Permaculture Landscape Design

 

International service-learing has become a central piece of Abrah's work. Over the winter of 2013-2014, she traveled to Tamil Nadu, India as a David Bird Ecological Design Fellow to work with college study abroad students to create and install a perennial food-producing demonstration site, Edible Pathways. She lead sessions at 2022 Vision, a Siach Network conference in Jerusalem for Jewish Environmental and Social Justice Leaders focused on Shmita. She is an alum of Encounter: Transforming Conflict through Face-to-Face Understanding in the West Bank. And she he served on the US Delegation to Rwanda on the Professional Fellows Africa Conflict Transformation Program, where she studied cultural regeneration and healing from genocide.

Abrah’s Jewish heritage informs her ethical beliefs and the food justice framework she brings to her professional engagements. As co-founder of the Franklin County Food Council (FC2) and organizer of the Northeast Prison Garden Educators' Collaborative, Abrah is dedicated to making change in her home community as well as in communities abroad. Her leadership and vision has helped to establish a Jail-to-Farm-to-College & Employment program in Franklin County, Massachusetts, involving the Franklin County JailGreenfield Town Farm, and Greenfield Community College. Currently, she is writing the forthcoming Regenerative Design for Change Makers: A Social Permaculture Guidebook.

 

Abrah develops curricula for and teaches courses in food systems, food justice, social permaculture, and permaculture design at University of Massachusetts-AmherstGreenfield Community CollegeOmega Institute for Holistic Studies, and the Franklin County Jail. Past teaching engagements include: Wesleyan University, Vermont Wilderness School, Wild Earth ProgramsPermaculture f.e.a.s.t. and the Green Life Program at San Quentin Prison.

 

She leads classes and develops curricula on Jewish agricultural traditions and earth-based Hebraic practices for Brandeis University Summer High School Programs, Jewish Farm SchoolThe Teva Seminar, Moishe House RetreatsTemple Israel-GreenfieldThe JOFEE (Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education) Network Gathering at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center and Pearlstone Retreat Center.

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