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Carlos Rojas Alvarez: ‘Decolonizing Wealth: Money as Medicine to Heal Divides and Restore Balance’

By October 23, 2022 No Comments

Though it seems counterintuitive, the philanthropic industry has evolved to mirror centuries-old colonial structures and reproduce economic and racial hierarchy, according to Indigenous philanthropist and activist Edgar Villanueva. In his groundbreaking book, Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance, Villanueva showed us past the field’s glamorous, altruistic façade and into its dark shadows. Now through the Decolonizing Wealth Project and its fund Liberated Capital, a team of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Philanthropists and Activists led by Villanueva seek to disrupt the existing systems of moving and controlling capital by offering truth, reconciliation, and healing from the ails of colonization through education and healing programs, radical reparative giving, and narrative change. We envision a world where racial equity has become a societal norm – where new systems ensure everyone can live their best lives, thrive in their cultures, and heal from generations of colonial trauma.

“All our suffering is mutual. All our healing is mutual. All our thriving is mutual.” -Edgar Villanueva

Carlos Rojas Alvarez serves as the Director of Executive Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at the Decolonizing Wealth Project and Liberated Capital. 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, Massachusetts Advocates for Children, 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.


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