#NAHM17: Edgar Villanueva
Job Title, Cause or Organization you represent
Schott Foundation for Public Education
Tribal Affiliation and/or any personal cultural notes you’d like to share
Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
What do you feel brought you to your cause and was there a personal connection or cultural teaching that sparked your initial interest?
Reciprocity – giving back/reallocating resources is a way to restore balance and justice in the world.
What is a key take-away you feel most people do not understand/are not educated on regarding your cause?
Indigenous people & people of color possess exactly the perspective and wisdom needed to fix the system and heal the wounds in the world. Institutions that move & control money are broken and they use money to divide and exploit rather than support well-being. This can change if we follow Indigenous values and our original instructions.
How do you communicate your views to those who may disagree with them?
I share in love. All my relations.
What is your personal philosophy (that helps drive your work)?
All of us who have been forced to the margins by homogeneity are the very ones who harbor the solutions for progress and peace, by virtue of our outsider perspective and our resilience.
How has your approach to your work evolved since you first started? Where do you see it going/growing?
Understanding that those who have oppressed us must take part in our healing.
What has surprised you most about working within your cause?
They are willing.
What motivates you to stay involved?
The next 7 generations.
What moment has resonated the most since you began your work?
Unpeeling the onion to get at the inner core of our brokenness is not for the faint of heart. Peeling onions always makes me cry. But we have to get past our discomfort and confront this stuff in order to heal.
What’s your advice to those who want to learn more about your cause but aren’t sure how to get involved?
Build real relationships with community. Call us as ambassadors to help you with your journey!
Become a member of Native Americans in Philanthropy here.