Press Releases

MAY 2022

DECOLONIZING WEALTH PROJECT LAUNCHES NEW SIX-FIGURE INVESTMENT TO SUPPORT LANDMARK CALIFORNIA TRUTH AND HEALING COUNCIL

Initial $500,000 fund guided by CA tribal leaders will provide resources to help Native Californians engage with the Council and support truth and healing processes

 

NEW YORK CITY (May 11, 2022) – Today, the Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP) launched a new fund, the California Truth and Healing Fund, to provide California Native American families, communities, tribes, and organizations with resources to engage in opportunities associated with the goals of the landmark California Truth & Healing Council. Seeded with an initial $500,000 investment from DWP’s Liberated Capital fund, The California Endowment, and Christensen Fund, and with the goal of raising more than $5 million, the fund is guided by an advisory board of Native Californians, including Pechanga Band of Indians Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro and Truth & Healing Council-member Kouslaa Kessler-Mata, Yak Tityu Tityu Chumash. Interested parties can apply online here: https://decolonizingwealth.com/liberated-capital/cathf/

 

“We cannot achieve truth and healing if the California Native community is not front and center in this process,” DWP Founder and Principal Edgar Villanueva said. “The Council’s historic work is setting a national example for achieving truth and healing and we are proud to support this work by ensuring that California Native communities have the funding and resources they need to make their voices heard.”

 

“California Native Americans have a huge opportunity to help our communities and our state heal together – but only if we have a seat at the table,” Mark Macarro, Tribal Chairman of Pechanga Band of Indians said. 

 

“These resources will directly help more Native people begin healing deep wounds and will help many take a critical step toward restoring the balance between California Native people and the State,” Kouslaa Kessler-Mata, Truth & Healing Council-member, Yak Tityu Tityu Chumash, said. 

 

California Native American tribes and organizations can apply for funding before September 15, 2022 to support their truth and healing efforts. Funding, for example, will support efforts to: spread awareness and increase community engagement in the goals of the Council; provide logistical support to attend Council meetings; record and preserve tribal history; research and plan land-back efforts; and, support traditional healing programs or other truth and healing processes that may be local or regional.

The full advisory board and their tribal affiliation includes: 

 

  • Mark Macarro – Tribal Chairman, Pechanga Band of Indians, Truth & Healing Councilmember
  • Frankie Myers – Vice-Chair, Yurok Tribe, Truth & Healing Councilmember
  • Kouslaa Kessler-Mata – Professor, USF, Truth & Healing Councilmember, Yak Tityu Tityu Chumash 
  • Erica Costa – Attorney, Pomo and Wailacki
  • Chag LowryEducator, Yurok, Maidu, and Achuwami cultures

 

The California Truth & Healing Council, established in 2019 through Executive Order N-15-19, works to clarify the historical record and promote narratives regarding the troubled relationship between the State of California and California Native Americans, with the goals of advancing  truth and healing. Working alongside the Governor’s Office and the Council, Decolonizing Wealth Project is serving as ambassadors for the work of the Council across the philanthropic sector, helping through the California Truth and Healing Fund’s grantmaking program and through narrative change and digital storytelling. 

To learn more about the Council and their ongoing work, please visit https://tribalaffairs.ca.gov/cthc/.

 

ABOUT DECOLONIZING WEALTH PROJECT

Led by Edgar Villanueva (Lumbee), Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP) works globally to disrupt the existing systems of moving and controlling capital using education and healing programs, radical reparative giving, and storytelling. Through its fund, Liberated Capital, DWP moves untethered resources to Indigenous, Black and other people-of-color-led initiatives working for economic and racial justice.

www.decolonizingwealth.com  

 

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APRIL 2022

 

NEW COMMUNITIES, JUBILEE JUSTICE, AND DECOLONIZING WEALTH PROJECT PARTNER TO REDISTRIBUTE OVER $1M TO 32 BIPOC GRANTEES LEADING FOOD AND LAND JUSTICE AND SOVEREIGNTY EFFORTS 

USDA Equity Commission member Shirley Sherrod and Jubilee Justice Founder and President Konda Mason steered the Advisory Committee for the new partnership, The Food and Land Justice Fund

 

NEW YORK, NY – April 12, 2022 – New Communities, Jubilee Justice, and Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP) announced today the redistribution of more than $1M to 32 Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-led organizations leading food and land justice and sovereignty efforts across the country through the Food & Land Justice Fund, a new partnership and funding initiative between the three organizations. 

Final grant award decisions were made by the Fund’s Advisory Committee, which includes Shirley Sherrod, Executive Director of the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc, and Co-Founder of New Communities, Inc., and member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Equity Commission and Konda Mason, Founder and President of Jubilee Justice, based in Louisiana. The donation was seeded by Bia-Echo Foundation in the name of Jubilee Justice and New Communities, with the intention of expanding funding for BIPOC farmers. 

“In order to accurately address the racial wealth gap in the United States, we must first acknowledge the injustices of our food and agriculture industry,” said Edgar Villanueva, Founder and Principal of Decolonizing Wealth Project and Liberated Capital. “We’re thrilled to join our two partner organizations and grantees in growing the movement to reclaim land and food systems in an effort to create a more equitable and sustainable future for all.”

“It is an honor to work alongside leaders like Konda Mason and Edgar Villanueva to spearhead such a meaningful and impactful partnership,” said Sherrod. “This fund will become an invaluable tool and a template for funders, supporters and advocates as we build a nationwide network of sustainable land-based communities and address the injustices in this country’s food and agriculture system. 

“Joining forces with Shirley Sherrod, Decolonizing Wealth and Bia-Echo Foundation to fund BIPOC food and agriculture organizations who have historically had little-to-no access to funding has been an incredible honor,” said Mason.

The Food & Land Justice Fund comes as Black farmers fight to reclaim land ownerships that have declined by over 16 million acres in the last century and as Native farmers fight to reclaim their ancestral foodways. The grantee partners selected as part of the Food and Land Justice Fund are building on these efforts while addressing the disparities that their communities have faced for generations. They are employing a range of strategies, including building local power through community organizing to protect the loss of additional land, fighting back against pipelines being built through farmlands, and protecting and stewarding seeds in order to reclaim the pre-colonial diet that is rooted in traditional hunting, fishing, and foraging practices.

The first round of Food and Land Justice Fund grantee partners were announced in December 2021. The second round was announced today.  

ROUND ONE (December 2021): 

 

ROUND TWO (April 2022):

 

For more information about the Food & Land Justice Fund, visit: https://decolonizingwealth.com/liberated-capital/foodandland/ 

 

About New Communities 

New Communities is a grassroots organization that has worked for more than 40 years to empower African American families in Southwest Georgia and advocate for social justice and is widely recognized as the original model for community land trusts in the US.

About Jubilee Justice 

Jubilee Justice supports Black farming communities through new models of regenerative farming, cooperative ownership, and access to new markets, as well as reparative capital and legal services. 

About Liberated Capital 

Liberated Capital is a fund of the Decolonizing Wealth Project that aims to move untethered resources to support Black, Indigenous and other people-of-color-led initiatives working for transformative social change. We are honored to partner with these organizations to support food and land justice initiatives led by communities of color across the U.S. 

 

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JANUARY 2022

 

LIBERATED CAPITAL REDISTRIBUTES $1 MILLION TOWARDS INDIGENOUS-LED SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS 

The multi-year, multi-million dollar Indigenous Earth Fund initiative will support systemic and policy change efforts centered around Indigenous leaders and environmental solutions. 

NEW YORK, NYJanuary 20, 2022Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP) today announced the first cohort of grantee partners for its Liberated Capital fund’s latest initiative, the Indigenous Earth Fund (IEF), that will redistribute more than $1 million in grants to 16 Indigenous-led organizations nationwide to bolster their climate change and conservation campaigns. These organizations are spearheading movement-building efforts that center Indigenous self-determination to promote sustainable food systems; land and forest management; and the protection and conservation of water sources and natural resources. 

The initiative is expected to be an annual grantmaking program, and is part of DWP’s commitment to celebrate and invest in the diverse wisdom that Indigenous communities have been cultivating for thousands of years, and will help convene Indigenous-led organizations and inter-tribal organizations and networks to elevate and discuss strategies and best practices that address the current climate crisis.

Historically, Indigenous-led organizations receive a small percentage of philanthropic climate funding and are largely excluded from regional and national discussions on both climate change and conservation, despite having ancient and traditional solutions proven to protect the environment. In October 2021, DWP invited these organizations to submit grant proposals to its fund, Liberated Capital, which raises the grantmaking dollars from its community, with the goal of providing recipients with untethered resources that enable Indigenous-led organizations and leaders to continue their important work. 

“We are honored to invest in Indigenous-led organizations that are leading the fight against climate change.” Edgar Villanueva, Founder and Principal of Decolonizing Wealth Project and Liberated Capital said. “Indigenous communities are guided by thousands of years of conservation techniques and solutions, arming them with the knowledge and the power to reverse climate destruction. It’s past time that philanthropy prioritize its support towards Indigenous communities so they can continue leading us toward a more sustainable future.” 

Additionally, to bridge the disconnect between policy, philanthropy and Indigenous wisdom, Liberated Capital will also invest in the wider climate and conservation ecosystem to support and drive movement building across Indigenous communities.

The first cohort of Indigenous Earth Fund grantee partners are the following: 

Proposals were evaluated by the Indigenous Earth Fund Advisory Committee, which is comprised of Indigenous movement leaders: 

  • Jade Begay   (Diné and Tesuque Pueblo) – Climate Justice Campaign Director, NDN Collective
  • Julian Brave Noisecat (Canim Lake Band Tsq’escen) – Writer
  • Sheena Brown (Narragansett) – Director, Resource Mobilization, Decolonizing Wealth Project
  • Judith Le Blanc  (Caddo) –  Director, Native Organizers Alliance
  • Greg Masten  (Yurok, Hupa and Karuk) – VP Tribal Nations Engagement and Special Projects, Native Americans in Philanthropy
  • Edgar Villanueva (Lumbee) – Principal, Decolonizing Wealth Project

For more information about the Indigenous Earth Fund visit: https://decolonizingwealth.com/liberated-capital/ief/ 

Press Contact: Sunshine Sachs| decolonizingwealth@sunshinesachs.com 

 

ABOUT DECOLONIZING WEALTH PROJECT

Led by Edgar Villanueva, Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP) works globally to disrupt the existing systems of moving and controlling capital using education and healing programs, radical reparative giving, and storytelling. Through its fund, Liberated Capital, DWP moves untethered resources to Indigenous, Black and other people-of-color-led initiatives working for economic and racial justice. 

www.decolonizingwealth.com  

www.decolonizingwealth.com/liberated-capital 

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NOVEMBER 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 16, 2021

Contact: decolonizingwealth@sunshinesachs.com

Decolonizing Wealth Project Statement on 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit

At the conclusion of the White House Tribal Nations Summit, globally-recognized author, Native American activist, and founder and principal of Decolonizing Wealth Project and Liberated Capital Edgar Villanueva issued the following statement:

“The 2021 Tribal Nations Summit was a historic event featuring meaningful dialogue on a range of issues critical to the Native American community. From investments in education, pledges to restore historic lands, efforts to protect our people, and renewed calls to strengthen Tribal sovereignty, President Biden made meaningful commitments that will help many Native peoples lead better, healthier lives. In particular, we were grateful to hear the White House shine a spotlight on how colonization devastated Native peoples and continues to harm our communities today. Through my work and advocacy, we have worked to help philanthropy, the arts, entertainment, and other sectors of society decolonize and shed practices that marginalize and harm Native and other communities of color. Honest truths from our nation’s highest office are critical to this effort, and I thank President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Secretary Haaland for elevating Native voices, making meaningful commitments to our community, and drawing attention to why we must continue to decolonize our country in order to heal.”

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ABOUT DECOLONIZING WEALTH PROJECT

Led by Edgar Villanueva (Lumbee), Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP) works globally to disrupt the existing systems of moving and controlling capital using education and healing programs, radical reparative giving, and storytelling. Through its fund, Liberated Capital, DWP moves untethered resources to Indigenous, Black and other people-of-color-led initiatives working for economic and racial justice. 

www.decolonizingwealth.com 

www.decolonizingwealth.com/liberated-capital

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OCTOBER 2021

 

Decolonizing Wealth Project Announces Partnership with California Governor Office’s California Truth and Healing Council

The partnership will amplify the importance of truth, reconciliation and healing for the largest population of Native Americans in the United States.

NEW YORK CITY (October 11, 2021) – Today on Indigenous People’s Day, Decolonizing Wealth Project announced a new partnership with Governor Gavin Newsom’s (D-Calif.) Office and the California Truth and Healing Council (“Council”), aiming to address historic wrongs and promote access and inclusion for California Native American communities.

Working alongside the Governor’s office and the Council, Decolonizing Wealth Project will leverage its experience and relationships within the philanthropic community to serve as ambassadors for the work of the Council across the philanthropic sector. The organization will develop and execute a new multi-million grantmaking program to support the engagement of California Native American families in the healing opportunities presented in this process and advance the broader objectives of the Council. Through narrative change and digital storytelling, Decolonizing Wealth Project will also highlight California’s journey towards truth, healing and reconciliation. 

“Decolonizing Wealth Project is excited to amplify the work of the Council and California’s Native American tribal leaders,” said Edgar Villanueva, principal of Decolonizing Wealth Project and a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. “By helping to raise awareness among Californians and the philanthropic community to advocate for truth and reconciliation, it is our hope that the reparative efforts being put forth by the Council will one day be replicated on a national level. Especially on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we as a nation can only get to a state of reconciliation when we are able to reflect on and acknowledge America’s history of oppression and erasure of Indigenous communities.” 

The California Truth and Healing Council, established in 2019 through Executive Order N-15-19, works to clarify the historical record and promote narratives regarding the troubled relationship between the State of California and California Native Americans, with the goals of advancing  truth and healing. The Council, led and convened by the Governor’s Tribal Advisor Christina Snider, includes representatives from California Native American tribes, relevant state and local agencies, and other relevant non-governmental stakeholders.

“As we honor the perseverance, rich diversity and contributions of all Indigenous peoples today, California is advancing our commitment to collaborating with tribal communities throughout the state to make real the promise of a California for all,” said Governor Newsom. “This new partnership will expand the Administration’s efforts to engage Native American families in the important dialogue created by the Truth & Healing Council, helping to build bridges and begin healing deep wounds.”

“The Truth & Healing Council is pleased to partner with Decolonizing Wealth Project on this difficult journey,” said Council Member Frankie Myers, who serves as Vice Chairman for the Yurok Tribe. “California Native peoples have not forgotten the true history of the State of California, and we hope that our reexamination of the historical record is the first of many steps towards restoring the balance between California indigenous people and the State. Through philanthropy, and the healing tools it will empower us to provide, we are excited to advocate for real change through reparative justice.” 

To learn more about the Council and their ongoing work, please visit https://tribalaffairs.ca.gov/cthc/

ABOUT DECOLONIZING WEALTH PROJECT

Led by Edgar Villanueva (Lumbee), Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP) works globally to disrupt the existing systems of moving and controlling capital using education and healing programs, radical reparative giving, and storytelling. Through its fund, Liberated Capital, DWP moves untethered resources to Indigenous, Black and other people-of-color-led initiatives working for economic and racial justice. 

www.decolonizingwealth.com  

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SEPTEMBER 2021

Decolonizing Wealth Project’s Liberated Capital Announces Recipients of Multi-Million Dollar Initiative for Reparations Advancement 

The #Case4Reparations initiative aims to support systemic and policy change efforts that return wealth to impacted individuals.

NEW YORK – September 14, 2021. Liberated Capital, Decolonizing Wealth Project’s donor community and funding vehicle focused on providing resources to Black, Indigenous and other communities of color, officially announced its inaugural cohort of 23 grantees who will each receive funding to support local, regional and national movement-building and advocacy efforts to advance reparations in the United States. 

The #Case4Reparations is a first of its kind funding initiative, launched in March of 2021 by Decolonizing Wealth Project, aiming to fuel and amplify conversations and campaigns around reparations where wealth (money or land) can be redistributed by institutions and/or governments to Black and Native American communities in the United States. The goal for #Case4Reparations is to become a multi-year, multi-million dollar initiative to support systemic and policy change efforts that return wealth to impacted individuals. 

“As a nation that built and extracted its wealth from Black and Indigenous peoples, reparations, in the form of money and land, are required as we take meaningful steps toward reconciliation and racial healing,” said Edgar Villanueva, founder and principal of Decolonizing Wealth Project and Liberated Capital. “Our grantees, who are making crucial strides in their respective communities, represent the bright spots in this work and the opportunities for future reparations policies at the local, state, and federal levels.” 

The first annual #Case4Reparations grantees include:

  • ACRE Action Center on Race & the Economy, Chicago, IL 
  • African American Community Service Agency, San Jose, CA
  • Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Anchorage, AK
  • Blackroots Alliance, Chicago, IL 
  • DC Justice Lab, Washington, D.C. 
  • Drinking Gourd, Adel, GA
  • Equity And Transformation (EAT), Chicago, IL 
  • Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance, East Point, GA
  • GES Coalition, Denver, CO
  • Gullah Geechee Group, Inc., Hallandale Beach, FL
  • Healing and Reconciliation Institute, Monterey, CA
  • Justice for Bruce’s Beach, Manhattan Beach, CA
  • Justice for Greenwood, Tulsa, OK
  • Kanenhi:io Ionkwaienthos, Nedrow, NY
  • Marijuana Justice, Richmond, VA
  • N’COBRA, Washington, D.C.
  • New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Newark, NJ
  • Racial Justice Coalition of Asheville, Asheville, NC
  • RAW (Redistribute Agency & Wealth) Trust, Baltimore, MD
  • Restitution Study Group
  • Taller Salud, Jersey City, NJ
  • Tiwahe Foundation, Saint Paul, MN
  • Women Engaged, Atlanta, GA

 

Liberated Capital will distribute more than $1.7 million total across the grantee partners in the first year and is committed to identifying the best ways to elevate the work of its grantee partners through field and capacity-building and digital tools that will bolster the collective reparations movement.

Over 90 proposals were received from all 50 states, and each proposal was evaluated by the #Case4Reparations Advisory Committee, an advisory group of Black and Indigenous grassroots and movement leaders. The committee members are:

  • Kwesi Chappin, Consultant, Strategist, former Senior Political Director at Color Of Change
  • Will Cordery, Consultant, Donor Organizing Committee at Movement For Black Lives (M4BL), Senior Advisor at Liberated Capital
  • Michelle Crentsil, Political Director at New York State Nurses Association
  • Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director of Drug Policy Alliance
  • Krystal Two Bulls (Oglala Lakota/Northern Cheyenne), Director, LANDBACK Campaign at NDN Collective
  • Edgar Villanueva (Lumbee), Principal of Decolonizing Wealth Project and Liberated Capital

In 2021-2022, the grantee partners will begin to utilize their funding and will receive technical assistance from Decolonizing Wealth Project, including communications and narrative change support, networking opportunities and campaign coaching. In the year ahead, the organization will work to highlight and elevate each grantee partner’s efforts through their own channels, working to shift narrative change and build political will for reparations. 

Establishing a funding initiative is just the first step to building #Case4Reparations. Decolonizing Wealth Project will work to raise awareness and education among the general public around reparations and the need to embrace it as a way to right the wrongs and bring our country back together. 

For more information, please visit https://decolonizingwealth.com/liberated-capital/case4reparations/

 

ABOUT DECOLONIZING WEALTH PROJECT

Led by Edgar Villanueva, Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP) works globally to disrupt the existing systems of moving and controlling capital using education and healing programs, radical reparative giving, and storytelling. Through its fund, Liberated Capital, DWP moves untethered resources to Indigenous, Black and other people-of-color-led initiatives working for economic and racial justice. 

www.decolonizingwealth.com  

www.decolonizingwealth.com/liberated-capital 

 

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