> Skip to content
  • Published: 16 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781523091416
  • Imprint: Berrett-Koehler
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $32.99

Decolonizing Wealth, Second Edition

Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance



This second edition expands the provocative analysis of the racist colonial dynamics at play in philanthropy and finance into other sectors and offers practical advice on how anyone can be a healer.

The world is out of balance. With increasing frequency, we are presented with the inescapable truth that systemic racism and colonial structures are foundational principles to our economies. The $1 trillion philanthropic industry is one example of a system that mirrors oppressive colonial behavior. It’s an industry whose name means “the love for humankind,” yet it does more harm than good.

In Decolonizing Wealth, Edgar Villanueva looks past philanthropy’s glamorous, altruistic façade and into its shadows: white supremacy, savior complexes, and internalized oppression. Across history and to the present day, the accumulation of wealth is steeped in trauma. How can we shift philanthropy toward social reconciliation and healing if the cornerstones are exploitation, extraction, and control?

Drawing from Native traditions, Villanueva empowers individuals and institutions to begin to repair the damage through his Seven Steps to Healing. In this second edition, Villanueva adds inspiring examples of people using their resources to decolonize entertainment, museums, libraries, land ownership, and much more.

Everyone can be a healer and a leader in restoring balance—and we need everyone to do their part. As Villanueva writes, “All our suffering is mutual. All our healing is mutual. All our thriving is mutual.” Are you ready?

  • Published: 16 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781523091416
  • Imprint: Berrett-Koehler
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $32.99

Also by Edgar Villanueva

See all

Praise for Decolonizing Wealth, Second Edition

“Edgar outlines with compassion and clarity thoughtful and practical steps toward aligning our money with our values. There are important lessons here for anyone working in finance or philanthropy.”   —Keith Mestrich, President and CEO, Amalgamated BankDecolonizing Wealth is a must-read for philanthropists and donors looking to achieve the change we want to see in the world. Compelling, honest, and kind, Edgar is clear that we must free funding resources and the philanthropic sector itself from frameworks that further exacerbate the problems rather than bring us closer to identifying and activating the solutions.” —Alicia Garza, cocreator of Black Lives Matter Global Network, and Principal, Black Futures Lab “Edgar has broken through the tired jargon of philanthropy-speak and written a fresh, honest, painful, and hopeful book, grounded in his own truths and Native traditions. He offers some radical thinking about what it would take to bring about a world where power and accountability shifted and communities controlled the resources vital to their strength and futures.” —Gara LaMarche, President, Democracy Alliance; former President, Atlantic Philanthropies; and former Vice President and Director of US Programs, Open Society Foundations “Due to years of detrimental federal Indian policy and discriminatory economic systems, Native American communities have been marginalized and left out of the economic opportunity experienced by other Americans. Edgar offers a new vision and an Indigenous perspective that can put us on a better path. Everyone should read Decolonizing Wealth, especially those who control the flow of resources in government, philanthropy, and finance.” —LaDonna Harris (Comanche), politician, activist, and founder of Americans for Indian Opportunity “Edgar’s sojourn into the soul and depths of philanthropy is equal parts thoughtful, discomforting, and illuminating . . . It challenges the reader to confront matters of race, oppression, privilege, and arrogance in the pursuit of humanity and social justice.”   —Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and CEO, The California Endowment “By anchoring the solutions to America’s ills in the wisdom and knowledge of its original people, Edgar challenges all of us to analyze how our nation’s history of racism and disenfranchisement has infected its financial and giving institutions.”  —Heather McGhee, Distinguished Senior Fellow, DemosDecolonizing Wealth offers a refreshing and inspired look at how wealth can better serve the needs of communities of color and atone for the ways in which it has traditionally been used to inflict harm and division. Using a solutions-oriented framing, Edgar makes a solid case for how Indigenous wisdom can be used as a guiding light to achieve greater equity in the funding and philanthropic world.” —Kevin Jennings, President, Tenement Museum “Edgar has gone out on a limb to help lead us to a place of healing. He bravely calls out the power dynamics within the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, particularly the white supremacy institutionally embedded into the system of nonprofit supplicant and philanthropic largesse.”  —Kathy Ko Chin, President and CEO, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum  “Finally, a Native perspective on how to heal internal systemic challenges. Decolonizing Wealth not only is an unflinching examination of today’s philanthropic institutions and the foundations upon which they were built but also offers critical wisdom applicable to many sectors.”  —Sarah Eagle H