Giving Compass’ Take:
• Denver Frederick at Business of Giving interviews Edgar Villanueva, author of Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance, and discusses the power dynamics in philanthropy.
• Villanueva maintains that he is not trying to take down the philanthropic sector, but rather point out a few ways to address its flaws. How are other donors responding to his suggestions?
• Read more about Villanueva’s ideas on the best practices in philanthropy.
The following is a conversation between Edgar Villanueva, author of Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance, and Denver Frederick, Host of The Business of Giving on AM 970 The Answer WNYM in New York City.
Denver: Let’s begin with the first word of the title of your book, “decolonization,” and it may be best for you to talk about that by telling us first – what is colonization?
Edgar: Colonization is something that often, especially in the US, we romanticize because we are taught as young children that the colonizers were heroes…actually a history of this country and the establishment of this country in a way that is not actually real. In the book, I talk about the realities of colonization, which actually was an atrocity.
Denver: You talk about the history of colonization… is it still going on?
Edgar: It absolutely is. We often think of that word as something that started 500 years ago in this country, but the dynamics of colonization, which are about dividing, conquering, exploiting, separating – those dynamics are still taking place today.
Denver: How does philanthropy perpetuate these dynamics?
Edgar: In so many ways. You know you see these dynamics of colonization showing up in our culture and institutions, but in a really unique way when it comes to institutions that move and control wealth. When you look at in philanthropy: Who gets to manage, allocate, control and spend money? Who is actually receiving that money? The history of how that wealth was accumulated: Who was harmed in the process? You see a lot of those dynamics coming to play in our history as a sector, but also in our day to day practices.
Read the full article about decolonizing wealth in philanthropy by Denver Frederick at Business of Giving.
If you are looking for more articles and resources for North America, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and North America.
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