Divide, Control, and Exploit” Decolonizing Wealth Highlighted

Published - 8 March 2023

By:Hannia Favela

I have been reading “Decolonizing Wealth” by Edgar Villenueva, for a little while now; only really picking up the book when I have time between classes, my job, and internship. So far, every word that I’ve read in it has left me impacted. I wanted to highlight the first chapter of the book. While the book focuses on how to decolonize wealth and how to move away from the current state of charitable donations and grants to a decolonized version where there is more money for organizations that are not white lead, the first chapter I feel is super applicable to healing justice. 

\ The first chapter of this book is impactful because it touches base on both colonization and how it has impacted every minority. The author writes beautifully and simplistically for the audience to fully understand the meaning behind two words: white supremacy, that we often use especially in the field of social work, which is the degree I’m working towards. It validates any similar thoughts I may have and even names things that I have experienced but never had the words to describe. It empowers both the mind and soul.

On one particular page, the author, Edgar Villanueva, speaks of Medicine in the Native worldview. In the book he writes, 

“ In the indigenous worldview, many kinds of things can be medicine: a place, a word, a stone, an animal, a natural phenomenon, a dream, a life event like a coffee date with a friend, or even something that seems bad in the moment like the loss of a job.” (Villanueva & Barber, 2021)

This sentence to me was absolutely powerful. Medicine is like self care, although I’ve never really seen self care in the same terms as medicine before, but it made sense right after I read it. I’ve often looked at selfcare as an afterthought, only ever really doing it when I had the time. However, looking at it in the indigenous world view, it makes sense that it is considered medicine. We as people need time to destress, to feel happy and healed. Selfcare, or medicine, is not something we do or take when we have the time, but we do it to take care of ourselves.

It reminded me of what we at FCCAN are trying to do. Our healing justice is like medicine. It is a place for the BIPOC community to feel at ease to, to be amongst kin, to feel empowered and heard. It is the reason why we continue to offer events every month, so that the people in our community can at least take an hour or two out of everyday life and be in a space where we actively try to decolonize and refresh the body spirit. 

I encourage you to take time for yourself! Even if it is for only an hour a week, make the time for you to be able to take care of yourself in whatever way replenishes you! If you are able I also encourage you to join our healing justice events, if you are BIPOC identifying, that we try to host every month!