A provocative analysis of the dysfunctional colonial dynamics at play in philanthropy and finance. Award-winning philanthropy executive Edgar Villanueva draws from the traditions from the Native way to prescribe the medicine for restoring balance and healing our divides.

Product Code: 8045
ISBN: 9781523091416
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler
Pages: 272
Published Date: 08/17/2021
Availability:In stock
Price: $21.95

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.

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“By anchoring the solutions to America’s ills in the wisdom and knowledge of its original people, Edgar challenges all of us working in the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors to analyze how our nation’s history of racism and disenfranchisement has infected its financial and giving institutions. I strongly recommend this book as a key resource for funders and advocates to ensure their investments are truly equitable and benefiting the lives of people and communities of color.” —Heather McGhee, author, political commentator, and former President, Demos

“Edgar’s book is essential reading toward deeply rethinking the role of wealth and philanthropy in our polarized times. Decolonizing Wealth is both profoundly personal and powerfully practical in how to reweave a broken system and begin to repair the deep wounds from extracted wealth, disconnection, and concentrated power. This book points the way toward how we should rewire philanthropy as part of building a humane and connected society of vulnerability, resilience, and genuine abundance.” —Chuck Collins, Senior Scholar, Institute for Policy Studies, and author

“Edgar Villanueva has broken through the tired jargon of philanthropy-speak and written a fresh, honest, painful, and hopeful book, grounded in his own truths and Native traditions, about his experiences in foundations, a powerful sector with too many vestiges of colonialism and white supremacy. He offers some radical thinking about what it would take to bring about a world where power and accountability shifted and communities controlled the resources vital to their strength and futures.” —Gara LaMarche, former President, Democracy Alliance; former President, Atlantic Philanthropies; and former Vice President and Director of US Programs, Open Society Foundations

“Due to years of detrimental federal Indian policy and discriminatory economic systems, Native American communities have been marginalized and left out of the economic opportunity experienced by other Americans. Edgar Villanueva offers a new vision and an Indigenous perspective that can put us on a better path. Everyone should read Decolonizing Wealth, especially those who control the flow of resources in government, philanthropy, and finance.” —LaDonna Harris (Comanche), politician, activist, and founder of Americans for Indian Opportunity

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