Much of the wealth fueling institutional philanthropy in the 20th century in Pittsburgh came from family fortunes gained through extractive industries, basic manufacturing or investments related to both. Author and philanthropic leader Edgar Villanueva traces the roots of these fortunes to lands, resources and rights appropriated from Native people and original inhabitants. He likens the philanthropy resulting from these fortunes as mirror images of the colonial power structures that undermined the welfare of indigenous people and the earth we share. Advising funders to recognize and redress these past wrongs, he urges philanthropists to treat this money as healing medicine.
In his landmark book, Decolonizing Wealth, Edgar Villanueva invokes indigenous wisdom to encourage a more inclusive philanthropy that heals society’s deep divides. He advocates moving more of this money to where the hurt is greatest in order to repair a world broken by structural racism and exploitation. In this intimate conversation and interview with Philanthropy Forum director Kathy Buechel, Edgar Villanueva will explore pathways to help philanthropy restore balance, and renew its promise for healing social good.