(PDC 11/18, Chicago IL, w/ Rhonda Baird and William Faith- Great Rivers and Lakes Permaculture Institute) is a life long learner and creative activist. She has been an organizer for the unschooling and alternative education community in Chicago since 1999. Deeply connected to the the ecology of the midwest and our urban environment, Lori raised three humans with a guiding belief in trusting children, nature immersion and the power of play. She continues to seek out ways to engage people of all ages with nature, and through these experiences, build and grow community. Lori is a long time gardener- currently steward of a very flood prone rectangle of land on Chicago's northwest side, a wild refuge in a sea of manicured lawns. Through the study of permaculture, Lori confirmed and expanded her belief that the way forward in our current political and social environment is not to lose hope and withdraw, but to put our bodies in nature and connect with and learn from the collective wisdom, history and creativity of the earth, of others and ourselves.
Anai is a person with a lot of problems. That also means they are a person with a lot of potential solutions (permaculture joke!) In November of 2018, she completed a Permaculture Design Course through Great Rivers and Lakes Permaculture Institute (GRLPI) under the tutelage of Rhonda Baird and William Faith. Until this, she felt like barren topsoil on a windy day, lurching through life like a philosopher afraid of their own thoughts. Now a life lived has lessons in it too, and constellations are faintly appearing instead of infinite lonely lights, burning themselves out. One of her wishes for humanity, is that we all get to experience sonder. The acute realization that the people around you are living as complex and vivid a life as yourself. You’ll never even know if they saw you, watching them waiting for the westbound bus, as you passed on the 81 headed east. The belief is that we can achieve a more empathetic society through genuine connection. For her, discussion is vital to that feeling of connection. If we share the thoughts we aren't sure we believe yet, honor our failures as teachers, and remain adaptable in the detail of our character, we give freely of ourselves, thus enabling others to know us.