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Where We Are

The land that we now refer to as Winston-Salem is the rightful home of the Cheraw, Saponi, Tutelo, Saxapahaw, and Shakori nations. This land was stolen from these nations. We commit to recognizing and repairing the harm that colonization has caused to this land and to its Indigenous people. 

We pay our respect to Indigenous elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge the way you have cared for this land and for the prayers that you have put into this land for thousands of years. We honor how your descendants continue the legacy of stewarding, praying into and loving this land. 

May we all learn what it means to walk the path of repair and healing.


*This land acknowledgement was created under the guidance of Vickie Jeffries of the

Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation.


Behind Our Name

by Sydney Hughes-McGee

To find a name for the healing center, I entered into a listening process with the land. I had recently gone through a series of initiations in an Andean spiritual lineage of the Q'ero people, called the Ñust'a Karpay, under the guidance of Lucinda Brogden and Petra LeBeau. These ceremonies bring the initiate into sacred relationship with the feminine spirits (Ñust'a in Quechua) associated with different places in the landscape of Peru. These places correlate to the seven energy centers that comprise the chakra system in the body.  


As I worked with these Andean practices, I recognized the profound depth of connection with land and body that lives in ancient cultures and which comes from eons of respectful tending to place and spirit. This work helped to create a channel in me for the grief that I carry as a descendent of settlers/colonizers of the Americas. Once I could trust this grief in my own body, it led me to my heart’s longing for collective healing around the trauma of colonization.


In looking for a name for a healing center, I asked the Ñust'a of this place if she would help me hear it. In doing some research, I learned that the land here was once known for being well watered and, in fact, was said to have had 18 springs. I accepted "18 Springs" as the answer to my quest.


The name "18 Springs" speaks to the abundant life that is under the surface of this cityscape. It honors our potential for healing as a culture if we engage honestly with the painful history at our foundation. The number 18 feels abundant and acknowledges that there are lots of different ways to go about healing the trauma of dominance, separation, and violence.


As you come to this space, we ask you to ponder: What is your real name? Who are you and who are we before and beyond the mindset of colonization? What kind of culture could we create if it arose out of a sense of deep connection to place and to one another?


Since becoming 18 Springs (in 2013), we have been a place where people come for embodied learning and to engage in community conversations. We have grown to center education around dismantling racism and other forms of oppression, as well as creative conflict resolution, while seeking guidance from Indigenous ways of knowing. We gather together to practice moving and speaking from our deepest knowings and longings for who we can be as individuals and as a people.  


We invite you to become part of the story of 18 Springs.

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