We would like to welcome you all to Hidden Water. We are a community dedicated to providing a restorative justice response to child sexual abuse.
I want to start by honoring my co-keeper(s): name. I am grateful for your wisdom and the chance to hold space with you.
At Hidden Water we always start by honoring the land where we stand, the earth below our feet. (pause)
We honor the indigenous people who carried the circle teachings through thousands of years. We feel deep gratitude for this relational community passed to us through our teachers. We honor the native people of the land wherever we are. Here in New York we lift up The Lenape, Rockaway and Canarsie People (https://native-land.ca/) . We welcome all those who are native among us. We invite you to honor the native people where you live. (pause)
We also welcome all people who have ever lived on this land, those that came freely, and those who were brought against their will. (pause)
We welcome our own ancestors, our elders, our teachers - those who are living and those who have passed. For those ancestors who still need healing, we invite you to heal through our work. For those who have lived in ways that were healing to themselves and others, we honor you by bringing your wisdom into this space.
We welcome those of all faiths and religious traditions. We welcome all spiritual practices - traditional or non traditional. We welcome agnostics, atheists, and seekers.
We welcome people of all genders - those who identify as women, men, trans, gender-queer, and everyone whom these words do not describe.
We welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, pansexual, asexual, queer people and everyone whom these words do not describe. We welcome single people, married, partnered, dating, in monogamous or polyamorous relations.
We welcome people in their teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s.
We welcome people of African descent, Asian descent, Middle Eastern/North African descent, and European descent. We welcome those who identify as Hispanic and Latina, Latino, Latine. We welcome those of Native descent and Indigenous peoples. We welcome people of mixed, multiple descents.
We welcome the people from this country and all others, from this city and all others. We welcome all the languages spoken here.
We welcome people with disabilities - visible and invisible.
And here at Hidden Water, we welcome those who have been harmed and those who have harmed, in all the ways that humans hurt each other.
We honor the survivor in each of us, and our capacity to heal, to repair and evolve.
We honor who you have been, who you are now, and who you are becoming.
We welcome the opportunity to honor and value each other, as equals, as we sit together now.
We welcome you.
*This Hidden Water Welcome is an adaptation from the “Diversity Welcome” from Training for Change.