Type to search

Thought Leader Uncategorized Philanthropy

Book Club reading: Decolonizing Wealth


Ryan Rodriguez

By Ryan Rodriguez, grants manager, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta regularly posts book reviews on topics related to philanthropy on its blog. Here’s a recent selection.

When I made the decision to enter the philanthropic sector nearly 20 years ago, I did so out of a deeply embedded sense of wanting to give back some of the goodness that I had received – and continue to receive. A kind of balancing the scales of fortune, if you will.

In Decolonizing Wealth, Edgar Villanueva offers a thought-provoking analysis of philanthropy through the lens of his Native American belief system. An award-winning practitioner in the field of philanthropy, Villanueva argues that philanthropy and other financial institutions perpetuate the colonial tenets of division, control and exploitation.

He begins by sharing his “journey into the heart of philanthropy, past the field’s glamorous, altruistic façade, into its shadows.” At times, it’s an uncomfortable journey and he comes through with seven steps to healing; ideas on what we can do to decolonize the institutions and processes around money – where we “embrace a new paradigm of connect, relate, belong.”

This may be a radical view to some of the philanthropic sector, and I think it encourages all of us to ask ourselves some difficult questions as we continue to tackle the tough work of healing our communities.


This is the "wpengine" admin user that our staff uses to gain access to your admin area to provide support and troubleshooting. It can only be accessed by a button in our secure log that auto generates a password and dumps that password after the staff member has logged in. We have taken extreme measures to ensure that our own user is not going to be misused to harm any of our clients sites.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.