“It’s not only my body that is dying. Think about so many other bodies—of people and places—you know it's a time of dying. As Vanessa Machado de Oliveira says, it’s a time of ‘hospicing modernity.’ Hospice like I'm giving someone a soft transition out of life. I believe it is our collective work to usher out this worldview of power-over, and bring in something more beautiful.”- Hanna du Plessis

Hanna is our first featured voice...

…and she is dying of ALS.

Through her teaching, coaching, group hosting, writing, art, loving acts and lived example, Hanna has touched thousands of people. She’s a leader in showing what’s needed for us to create together a world where all belong. We are so excited to bring her voice to you.

A message from Hanna recorded in April 2023, a few months after her diagnosis

Hanna's story

Hanna’s career has revolved around an urgent sense of possibility—that we can become more able to co-create the thriving world we can dream of.

Beginnings in South Africa
Hanna grew up in apartheid South Africa, with a clear social caste system that still reverberates in inequitable practices that harm everyone. Living there, she witnessed how patterns of oppression perpetuate in our own bodies and in the social fabric, one generation after another.

Moving from design to social transformation
Around 2010, Hanna left the world of design and strategy to learn about social transformation. She embarked on a different mission: to transform herself and share what she learned with others, “so we can get good at the collective work of healing, repairing, and re-weaving.”

Hanna has co-hosted dozens of spaces of transformation—gatherings of change leaders, student cohorts, entire organizations. She has been an artist, a dancer, a writer, and performed improv on stage.

Hanna’s persistent driving question throughout these years has been:

“Seeing that the world is a living system, that we are all participants in its emergent complexity, and that oppression and trauma are embedded in our society, how do we create together toward an equitable and sustainable future?”

Living, dying and writing with ALS
In March of 2023, Hanna was diagnosed with ALS, a degenerative neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its functions. She has committed this time to writing, and we are thrilled to have some of her work in development.

Learn more, learn how to help
Hanna’s community of care has a home at okaythen.net/hanna. You can see some of her past writings, follow her story through updates, and see ways we can all support her through this time.

Some past works

Hanna speaks at TEDx Pittsburgh

The desegregation of self
Toward ending white silence

Current and forthcoming work by Hanna

Boppa’s Bald Stories

A children’s book featuring Hanna’s beautiful and whimsical illustrations. NOW AVAILABLE!

Oppression and Sue

Hanna’s illustrated “children’s book for adults” about internalized habits of control, and their opposite. Now in development, the book will include wonderful additions from featured guest authors.

The Grief Essays

The first in a series of books that gather Hanna’s essays in print for the first time. This book will pair with another title, The Gratitude Essays.