Edgar Villanueva: Decolonizing Wealth on the 2nd Floor
Monday November 26: 7:00PM – 8:00PM
Though it seems counterintuitive, the philanthropic industry has evolved to mirror colonial structures and reproduces hierarchy, ultimately doing more harm than good. After 14 years in philanthropy, Edgar Villanueva has seen past the field's glamorous, altruistic façade, and into its shadows: the old boy networks, the savior complexes, and the internalized oppression among the "house slaves," and those select few people of color who gain access. All these funders reflect and perpetuate the same underlying dynamics that divide Us from Them and the haves from have-nots. In equal measure, he denounces the reproduction of systems of oppression while also advocating for an orientation towards justice to open the floodgates for a rising tide that lifts all boats. In the third and final section, Villanueva offers radical provocations to funders and outlines his Seven Steps for Healing. With great compassion--because the Native way is to bring the oppressor into the circle of healing--Villanueva is able to both diagnose the fatal flaws in philanthropy and provide thoughtful solutions to these systemic imbalances. Decolonizing Wealth is a timely and critical book that preaches for mutually assured liberation in which we are all inter-connected.
Join us in the 2nd Floor Art Department as Edgar shares wisdom from his new book with celebrity actress and activist Piper Perabo!
Edgar Villanueva is a nationally-recognized expert on social justice philanthropy and author of Decolonizing Wealth, which offers hopeful and compelling alternatives to the dynamics of colonization in the philanthropic and social finance sectors. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Native Americans in Philanthropy and is a Board Member of the Andrus Family Fund, a national foundation that works to improve outcomes for vulnerable youth. Additionally, Edgar is an instructor with The Grantmaking School at the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University and Vice President of Programs and Advocacy at the Schott Foundation for Public Education. There he oversees grant investment and capacity-building supports for education-focused justice campaigns across the United States. Previously Edgar has held leadership roles at Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina and at the Marguerite Casey Foundation in Seattle. In addition to working in philanthropy for many years, he has consulted with numerous nonprofit organizations and national and global philanthropies on advancing racial equity inside of their institutions and through their investment strategies. Edgar holds two degrees from the Gillings Global School of Public Health at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and resides in Brooklyn, NY. Follow him on Twitter at @VillanuevaEdgar.