Giving Compass' Take:

• Chris Winters and Edgar Villanueva discuss how organizations are trying - and often failing - to decolonize wealth in philanthropy. 

• How can your organization better address the inequality inherent in your context? 

• Learn about fighting wealth inequality.

Winters: Charity is kind of set up in our capitalistic society as the only way to help the poor that’s accepted by everyone. So, short of, you know, reaching for the pitchforks, what’s a way forward for people to create a different structure or a different framework in which to guide this thinking? How do we get away from “this is the way we do it” to “you should have these other ways that are less exploitative or less self-congratulatory.”

Villanueva: There’s a camp of folks who just think that philanthropy should be completely dismantled, and I have many days that I agree with that. Ideally, we would live in a world where philanthropy did not need to exist, right? We’d be like Wakanda.

In writing this book, I reached out to a couple folks for endorsements or whatever. One person wrote back to say, “Absolutely not. I don’t want anything to do with philanthropy. I think philanthropy is inherently connected to capitalism and is a part of the problem.” And I was like, “I could not agree more.” I mean it’s true.

This system exists. I’m inside this system. I tell a story in the book about a man who went into the belly of the serpent, allowed it to gobble him up so that he can get to its heart and kill it and cut himself out of it. That’s sort of the position I find myself in. I’ve been in the belly of this beast, and I think of philanthropy as sort of like my dysfunctional family that I love, but it needs to change.

Read the full interview with Edgar Villanueva about Decolonizing Wealth by Chris Winters at YES! Magazine.