Public conversation will focus on philanthropy and how institutions that control access to money can better serve the needs of Indigenous people, other communities of color
Edgar Villanueva, a nationally recognized expert on social justice philanthropy and author of Decolonizing Wealth, will discuss diversity, equity and inclusion challenges in today’s philanthropic sector, their historical roots, and ideas for overcoming them during a free, public conversation in Indianapolis.
Villanueva will talk about the nature of philanthropy, how institutions that control access to money can better serve the needs of Indigenous people and other communities of color, and how to advance racial and economic equity. He argues, “What if we could use wealth to heal rather than cause further harm?”
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy event will be Jan. 30, 6:00-7:30 p.m., in the Indiana Historical Society’s Basile Theater, 450 W. Ohio St., Indianapolis. It is free and open to the public; an RSVP is requested. The event is presented by the Central Indiana Community Foundation, Lake Institute on Faith and Giving Distinguished Visitor Series and the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy.
In Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance (Berrett-Koehler Publishers), Villanueva draws on his personal experiences, field data and dozens of interviews with funders to provide a provocative analysis of what he describes as the racial and colonialist dynamics at play in philanthropy and finance, including banks, investment funds and aid organizations. He offers a prescription for restoring balance and healing divides using the guidance of indigenous wisdom.
Villanueva is chair of the board of directors of Native Americans in Philanthropy and a board member of the Andrus Family Fund, a national foundation that works to improve outcomes for vulnerable youth. 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 their institutions and through their investment strategies.
As vice president of programs and advocacy at the Schott Foundation for Public Education, Villanueva oversees grant investment and capacity-building supports for education-focused justice campaigns across the United States. He 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.