The Big Welcome

The Big Welcome

Adapted by Bureau for Listening

This is a version adapted from Kate Morales’ version offered in Slow Spatial Reader – Chronicles of Radical Affect (Ed. Carolyn F. Strauss). 


As reference the following footnote were written for the chapter: 

“These words of welcome began as an offering out of the Mycelium School (2013-2016) in Ashville, NC, USA, and have evolved through many iterations as they have been applied to welcome many different groups of people in a variety of gatherings. This version was adapted for the Turtle Island Ecoversities Regional Gathering (January 21, 2021). All those receiving these words are free to credit, modify, and share as needed for their own gatherings, in the spirit of the gift economy.”

(Kate Morelas (2021). The Big Welcome in Slow Spatial Reader – Chronicles of Radical Affect. Pp. 240-241).


Carolyn F. Strauss read this welcome as the beginning of our Listening Event II, part of our Testing Ground residency at Art Hub Copenhagen. People attending the event seemed very moved by it.

We are so honored to welcome you all here. 

Take a movement right now to allow yourself to fully arrive.

Allow the dust to settle in your mind. Bring your attention to your body, your breath, the present moment. You have arrived!


We welcome your excitement and your trepidation. Your clear inquiries and your big question marks. We Welcome your wide eyes and open hearts alongside your side eyes and cynicism/skepticism. We welcome your listening as well as your voicing body.

You are welcome here. 

Your culture is welcome. Your ethnic origin is welcome. 

Your race, your skin hue, accent, food preferences, and all of the complexities that make up your cultural identity are welcome here. The histories, herstories, and experiences of your ancestors are honored and welcomed.

We welcome you with all of the connections you bring in with you, the children in your lives, your partners, siblings, parents, the animals in your lives, and other loved ones in your communities.

You are welcome here.

We welcome your spiritual practice, your religious affiliation, the path you walk. However you hold that aspect of your life is welcomed.

Your love is welcome here. How you love, who you love, and your understanding of what love is are all welcome. 

We welcome you in all of the ways your sexuality has evolved and is evolving. 

We welcome you in all of the ways your gender has evolved and is evolving.

We welcome you in your ignorance. We welcome you in your privilege. We welcome you in your grief. We welcome you in your guilt and shame.

You are welcome here. 

We welcome the parts of yourself that you’re still figuring out. 

We welcome you in the roles as learners, activists, teachers, healers, feelers, intuitives, parents, caretakers, students, artists, witches, change agents, magicians, educators, and warriors. 

We welcome you at whatever level of mental and physical wellness you are currently functioning. We welcome your introversion and your extroversion. We welcome all of the experiences that led you to this moment. Thank you for surviving. 

We welcome your wounds and scars.

We welcome you at whatever level at which you are currently decolonizing. We welcome you wherever you are in divesting from systemic patriarchy, white supremacy, ableism, and all other intersecting forms of oppression. We welcome you as you unlearn internalized anti-blackness and cultural norms that are not serving the health of our interconnected communities.

You are welcome here.

We offer gratitude to the four directions, the guardian spirits and ancestors of our lands, each of your sacred connections to the land on which you were conceived, the lands that hosted your births and the lands of your ancestors.

You are welcome here, and we give thanks. 

We thank you for being here, for offering your time, attention, and affections. We give thanks to what you bring in the way to bring it. We give thanks to both the said and the unsaid, to the knowledge shared, and the caring of the unknowing.

Thank you.

Settle in.