Our team

We are decolonizing wealth

Founder and CEO

Edgar is a globally-recognized author, activist, and expert on the intersection of race, wealth, and power. Edgar is the author of the best-selling book, Decolonizing Wealth and is the founder and CEO of Decolonizing Wealth Project and Liberated Capital.

In 2018, Edgar released Decolonizing Wealth (now in its second edition), which offers hopeful and compelling alternatives to the dynamics of colonization in the philanthropic and social finance sectors, and established Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP). In 2019, he founded Liberated Capital, a fund that invites individuals and organizations to give through a reparations model that trusts and supports the leadership of those most impacted by historical and systemic racism.

Edgar advises organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to global and national philanthropies and nonprofits on advancing racial equity inside of their institutions and through their community investment strategies.

He holds two degrees from the Gillings Global School of Public Health at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

A.J. Lumalcuri
Executive Assistant

A.J Lumalcuri serves as the Executive Assistant to the CEO at the Decolonizing Wealth Project, where he brings a dynamic blend of skills and experience to the organization. His role is pivotal in streamlining operations and facilitating effective communication between the CEO and both internal and external stakeholders.

Before joining the Decolonizing Wealth Project, A.J. spent over two years assisting a public figure in executive and personal matters. His background also includes significant work in event production. These roles honed his expertise in handling complex tasks and effective communications, skills that are now instrumental in his current position.

Andrew’s academic background in Environmental Science from Binghamton University provides him with a unique intersectional perspective on environmental and social issues. This knowledge is invaluable in his work at the Decolonizing Wealth Project, contributing to the organization’s mission of fostering equity and inclusivity in wealth distribution.

Amber Banks, PhD
VP, Programs

Dr. Amber Banks (she/her) is the inaugural Vice President of Programs at Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP). She is honored to lead DWP’s programs and support the direction of Liberated Capital’s funds. Amber is a seasoned social sector leader with over two decades of experience as an educator, researcher, coach, facilitator, advisor, grant maker, entrepreneur, and organizer. Across these roles, Dr. Banks’ work elevates how relationships and repair inform our work together for social justice. Dr. Banks started her career as a Special Education teacher and prior to joining DWP, was the Founder & CEO of the Center for Trust and Transformation (CTT). CTT is a consulting collective offering coaching, consulting, facilitation, and advising to social sector organizations focused on trust, healing, repair, and racial justice. CTT’s clients include the Gates Foundation, Pivotal Ventures, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, Equal Opportunity Schools, the BIG We, and Frontline Solutions.

Dr. Banks completed her undergraduate degree in Journalism at Boston University and her Ph.D. in Education Leadership, Organizations, and Policy from the University of Washington with a focus on cross-cultural trust, racial justice, and social network analysis. Dr. Banks is certified as a Healing Centered Coach and Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP), in addition to being a Reiki practitioner. She is also a Fellow with both the Pahara Institute and Mosaic Changemakers. Dr. Banks loves to dream of what’s possible when we work together from a place of trust and healing.

Chrissie Castro
Advisor, Programs

Chrissie Castro is a citizen of the Navajo Nation, and a social justice consultant working on equity for all peoples, and focusing on the self-determination of American Indian/Alaska Native communities.

Chrissie has more than 15 years of senior management experience in government and nonprofit sectors. Throughout her career, Chrissie has been a strong advocate in promoting equity both within and outside of the nonprofit sector. She has substantive expertise in community organizing, community building, and developing and managing communications campaigns in the fields of violence prevention, economic development, child welfare, mental health, youth development, and for Native American/Alaskan Native populations generally.

William Cordery
Senior Advisor, Liberated Capital

Will is a Senior Advisor for Liberated Capital. He has held several roles in the field of philanthropy – from working at large national private grantmaking institutions to managing fundraising efforts for large, international nonprofit organizations. Over his career, Will has developed and implemented multi-million dollar grantmaking and fundraising portfolios.

Will received his B.S.B.A. in Business Finance from Xavier University and his M.P.A. from New York University. He formerly worked with Marguerite Casey Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and Wellspring Philanthropic Fund. His philanthropic board leadership includes the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Hill-Snowdon Foundation. Greater New Orleans Funders Network, Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing, and Grantmakers for Southern Progress. Additionally, Will is an Advisor for the Global Engagement Lab at the EDGE Funders Alliance, and is an alum of the Association of Black Foundation Executives’ Connecting Leaders Fellowship.

Danielle Lovell Jones
Programs Consultant

Danielle is a consultant to DWP’s Programs team. She is a relationship-driven visionary with a proven track record of guiding organizations toward inclusive and equitable engagements. Danielle is a strong and compassionate leader known for her enthusiastic and impactful guidance. She is also known for her ferocious commitment to a future that is bright for all people; particularly for those who have been historically marginalized. 

She has driven multi-million dollar initiatives with her transformative facilitation style and deep expertise in community and stakeholder engagement. Within Lovell Strategies, Danielle shares her expertise around participatory design models, leadership, and team building, as well as facilitation with funders and field leaders. These skills are rooted in and inspired by her mother, Diana Lovell’s immigrant journey to the United States. Lovell Strategies embodies the lessons learned from her family — the power of investing in people, saying the necessary things to propel impact, and inspiring individuals to be their best selves.

Not only is she a vibrant Miami Native with Trinidadian and Panamanian roots, she is also an Enneagram 4 and a proud Crimson Hoya with a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University. When she’s not talking with cool people to get powerful solutions, she’s hanging with her husband, watching Bluey with her kiddos, salsa dancing with friends (far less than she’d like) and listening to Soca music. 

Janay Cody, Ph.D.
Lead Data Advisor, #Case4Reparations

Janay Cody, Ph.D. is a behavioral data scientist with 15 years of experience using data in service to diverse communities. Her analytic solutions and culturally relevant insights have integrated data equity into organizational operations and community engagement campaigns of philanthropies including Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Family Fund; data and tech companies including Catalist, Movement Labs, and Analyst Institute; and civic engagement organizations including New Georgia Project and Faith in Action. Dr. Cody has led experimentation design, program evaluation, and analytics projects focused on user acquisition, engagement, and conversion in the political and advocacy spaces. Dr. Cody has produced solutions that create equitable data governance, inclusive data driven cultures, and diverse narratives through data literacy training, randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental testing, survey research, segmentation, machine learning models, and quality control. Dr. Cody is passionate about building equity into analytics operations in cross-functional environments.

Dr. Cody is leading Decolonizing Wealth Projects’ #Case4Reparations narrative change research that will inform our forthcoming reparations campaign(s).

Tricia Levesque
Managing Director

As a Managing Director for the Decolonizing Wealth Project, Tricia brings experience in various sectors, including law, business, and human capital management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Policy and Administration from Gillings School of Public Health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Juris Doctorate from Seattle University School of Law, where she focused on Intellectual Property, and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification.

With several years of experience in corporate as General and Commercial Counsel in New York City and L.A. and as Chief Strategy Officer for a human capital start-up in London, U.K., her previous charitable sector work includes consulting for a wide range of organizations, including nonprofits like The Foraker Group, Alaska Community Foundation, and Anchorage Community Land Trust.

Tricia’s passion for storytelling is evident in her occasional role as a producer and, most recently, as an executive producer for the web series Wed-Locked, which was an Official Selection of the Cleveland International Film Festival and Pan African Film Festival. Tricia also serves on the board of Sultana, a fiscal sponsorship program of The Foraker Group.

Carlos Rojas Álvarez
Director, Executive Affairs and Strategic Initiatives

Carlos serves as the Director of Executive Affairs and Strategic Initiatives. He is a recognized champion of education justice, immigrant rights, and racial equity and brings over a decade of expertise in community organizing, movement building, and philanthropy. As an undocumented immigrant, he began to organize at 16 through the Student Immigrant Movement, where he eventually became the Campaign Coordinator, and later the United We Dream Network, where he played a critical role in coordinating the network’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) registration and Comprehensive Immigration Reform campaigns. Most recently, Carlos was the Director of Special Projects at Youth on Board, where he developed, staffed, and executed various capacity-building programs for the youth justice movement field and partnered with philanthropy to advance support for healing justice initiatives across the country.

Carlos currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Schott Foundation for Public Education and Resource Generation in addition to serving as a consultant and advisor to other philanthropic and organizational partners.

He is honored to continue his work of connecting people, healing divides, and building community power through the Decolonizing Wealth Project. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with his partner.

Simone Hassan-Bey
Liberated Capital Donor Community Liaison

Simone Hassan-Bey supports our Liberated Capital donor community. She is driven by amplifying authentic social good. She serves as the client strategy lead at Freedom Futures, moving untethered financial resources to Black, Indigenous, and other people-of-color communities. At Decolonizing Wealth Project, she stewards key funder relationships and donor engagement for its funding vehicle, Liberated Capital.

Previously, she launched a scholarship to date awarded to 15+ undergraduates who demonstrate resilience and service to BIPOC communities. She is a founding member of the social and environmental justice collective Rooted Uprising and leads people strategy for Veggie Mijas, centering food justice from Los Angeles to India.

A language enthusiast, she was awarded two Department of State scholarships to study abroad: the National Security Learning Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y Korea, 2016-2017) and the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS Korea, 2021). She is the first and only UAlbany student to be awarded CLS for the Korean language. 

Simone releases creativity as an art archivist and deepens purpose by championing international clean water projects.

Vanessa Daniel
Senior Fellow

Vanessa Daniel is a Senior Fellow at DWP.

She has worked in social justice movements for 25 years as a labor and community organizer, writer, researcher, and funder. Vanessa is the founder of Groundswell Fund (a 501c3), and Groundswell Action Fund (a 501c4), two leading funders of women of color-led organizations in the U.S. Under her leadership, Groundswell moved over $100M to the field, centering intersectional grassroots organizing led by women of color and using a breakthrough philanthropic model that featured supermajorities of women of color movement leaders and former grassroots organizers on its staff and boards of directors. During her tenure, more than 40 foundations and over 2,000 individual donors relied on Groundswell to help them move resources to 200+ organizations at the grassroots.   

Groundswell received the National Committee of Responsible Philanthropy’s “Impact Award” for smashing issue silos and Vanessa was featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of 15 “Influencers” who are changing the non-profit world. She is the recipient of the 2022 Smith Medal from her alma mater Smith College, the 2017 National Network of Abortion Funds’ Abortion Action Vanguard Award, and the 2012 Gerbode Foundation Fellowship. 

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, among other publications and she is currently completing a book, to be published by Random House, on women of color leadership in social justice movements. Prior to founding Groundswell, Vanessa organized homecare workers with SEIU; helped win a landmark living wage law with the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy; and conducted research to support the organizing efforts of welfare mothers with the Applied Research Center (now Race Forward). Currently, through her firm, Vanessa Daniel Consulting, LLC, she offers strategic advising and coaching support to donors, foundations, grassroots organizations and organizational leaders. She serves on the boards of directors of the National LGBTQ Task Force and Common Counsel Foundation, and on the Advisory Board/Brain Trust of the Kataly Foundation’s Environmental Justice Resource Collective, and the Democracy Frontline Fund. Vanessa and her co-parent Tricia, are mothers to two daughters, ages five and twelve.

Cara Venter
Director, Events

Cara Venter serves as Director of Events for the Decolonizing Wealth Project. She is also a Film Producer with projects taking her to international destinations for diverse projects.

With a BDram degree and postgraduate studies in Marketing at the University of Stellenbosch, in South Africa – she acquired events experience at the top event management company in the country before moving to New York City. Her US-based work experience has been Operations, Education and Production based – with a number of years at the New York Film Academy before being planted in the Film Industry. Here she focused on short-form story-telling and Documentary filmmaking.

People, healing and storytelling form the foundation of her life work, which she hopes to build on and share as she invests in movements, such as the Decolonizing Wealth Project.