It’s been said that “the tools that built the master’s house will never dismantle the master’s house.” Philanthropy today reaffirms the culture of colonialism: white saviors, white experts. Recipients are at-effect rather than at-cause of the well-meaning aid. In his new book Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance, Lumbee Tribe member author Edgar Villanueva says that the bottom line at philanthropies remains power and privilege. As a nearly 15 years as the lone indigenous philanthropy executive at the table, he calls for expansion of parties involved in decision making as a needed medicine for what ails philanthropy. He says we need to push the philanthropic industry to sit with the discomfort they have avoided and take in the reality of the colonial structure of it. And then democratize philanthropy to heal from the effects of colonization.

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