Our Initiatives

S2E24: Edgar Villanueva, Schott Foundation

Senior Vice President, Schott Foundation
Nov 10, 2020

The Schott Foundation for Public Education is a grantmaking, educational advocacy organization that aims to address disparities amongst lower income students and students of color.

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I don’t think that any foundation has the right to go into a community to say, ‘This is what needs to be here and how you need to be doing your work,’ when they’re not from that community and don’t have relationships with that community. It’s just about trust. The least that a foundation can do is move funding and support nonprofits in a holistic way, understanding that there’s no price tag that can be put on the interventions and services that are being offered.

Edgar Villanueva is a Senior Vice President at the Schott Foundation and the award-winning author of Decolonizing Wealth, a bestselling book offering hopeful and compelling alternatives to the dynamics of colonization in the philanthropic and social finance sectors. Edgar was named a 2020 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity and is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

In this episode, Edgar unpacks the phrase “decolonizing wealth” on a macro level and as it applies to philanthropy specifically. He addresses several important critiques of philanthropy head on, such as the common disconnects between missions and where money actually goes, low endowment payouts, reluctance to embrace unrestricted funding models, and dominant white culture crowding out diverse ideas and experiences.

Edgar’s return to Indigenous values and wisdom now guides his career, which is dedicated to leveraging philanthropy to do transformative work, end racial inequity and injustice, and spread truth.

To learn more about Edgar’s work, visit schottfoundation.org and decolonizingwealth.com.