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Edgar Villanueva Sees Path to Social Justice Through Philanthropy

Edgar Villanueva is a nationally recognized expert on social justice philanthropy. He currently serves as chair of the Board of Directors of Native Americans in Philanthropy and is a board member of the Andrus Family Fund, a national foundation that works to improve outcomes for vulnerable youth.

Villanueva is an instructor with the Grantmaking School at the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University and serves as vice president of programs and advocacy at the Schott Foundation for Public Education, where he oversees grant investment and capacity-building supports for education justice campaigns across the United States. He previously had leadership roles at Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina and the Marguerite Casey Foundation in Seattle.

Villanueva is the author of Decolonizing Wealth, which offers hopeful and compelling alternatives to the dynamics of colonization in the philanthropic and social finance sectors. He holds two degrees from the Gillings School of Global 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, New York.

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Edgar Villanueva

Here are some highlights from the interview with Villanueva:

  • How his work is moving money into communities of color.
  • What has surprised him the most since his book was released in 2018.
  • The dysfunctions and realities of philanthropy.
  • How we can move the needle toward dismantling white supremacy.
  • His plans for the future (which include creating a Decolonizing Wealth fund).

Click here for a transcript of the podcast.

LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm with a mission to create, model and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.


Spreading Wealth and Healing While Dismantling White Supremacy was originally published in B the Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Originally posted on B the Change - Medium by Andrew Baskin.


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