Bioneers 2018 Presenter Preview: Author & Social Justice Expert Edgar Villanueva
A nationally recognized expert on social justice philanthropy, Edgar Villanueva (Lumbee) is about to release is his first book, Decolonizing Wealth. In it, Villanueva, Chair of Native Americans in Philanthropy and as Vice President of the Schott Foundation for Public Education in New York City, draws from Indigenous wisdom to offer ways to dismantle colonial dynamics in the philanthropic and social finance sectors. It’s a persuasive look at how Americans must work together to identify and destroy the systems that oppress not only with zeal and purpose, but also with compassion. The book will be available everywhere on October 16.
In less than a month, Villanueva will take the stage at the 2018 Bioneers Conference, along with other accomplished social justice advocates, at the Indigenous Forum for the discussion, How to Be A Good Ally. During the workshop Villanueva, along with fellow speakers like Mitch Anderson, founder and Executive Director of Amazon Frontlines, and Hernan Payaguaje (Seikopai) Executive Director of the Ceibo Alliance, will have a candid discussion about what white “ally-ship” means and how to build successful cross-cultural collaborations. Villanueva will also take part in a Bioneers authors book signing, where you’ll be able to snag your own copy of his newly released book.
Ahead of the conference, Villanueva shares some of his thoughts on the challenges our country is currently facing, why he has reason to hope, and the books he recommends reading.
What he’s most excited for within the next year: “How my new book, Decolonizing Wealth, can bring conversations of truth and reconciliation into the philanthropy and finance sectors.”
His biggest reason to have hope right now: “We’ve transcended beyond the superficial relationships to deep connectedness and belonging — and this is what it will take to restore balance.”
Our biggest challenge to overcome right now: “We must name and dismantle white supremacy.”
The number one thing individuals can do to have a big impact on the world in a positive way: “Hold up the mirror and take a long gaze. Ask yourself what you are doing to reinforce the status quo or what are you doing to disrupt the ordinary.”
The Bioneers 2018 talk he’s most excited to see: Hilary Giovale, who will also be speaking in the Indigenous Forum’s How to Be a Good Ally.
The books he recommends to our audience:
- Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown
- Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America by Jonathan Kozol