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Decolonizing Wealth with Edgar Villanueva

It’s the inconvenient truth. Wealth in the United States has been accumulated through the ownership and exploitation of Black and Indigenous bodies and the outright theft of land. We are in the midst of a national reckoning with this past. A past that has celebrated oppressors by highlighting nobility, honor, and perseverance in statuesque form, while minimizing and even ignoring the unspeakable acts of violence committed at the hands of these “celebrated” individuals.

Edgar Villanueva, author, activist, philanthropist, and change agent examines this past and offers a path forward in his book Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance. In this episode, Dr. Frank and Edgar discuss the history of colonization and how it has impacted concentrated wealth in this country, the extension of colonization practices in philanthropy, Edgar’s launch of the Decolonize Wealth Project and Fund, and how we can use “money as medicine” to heal divides in communities of color.

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One More Silver Dollar: Marc Quiñones

At age 9, Marc Qui?ones was introduced by a family friend to salsa legend Tito Puente. Along with long-time collaborator Bobby Allende, Marc was seen as somewhat of a child prodigy in New York salsa circles. Qui?ones comes from an impressive lineage of musicians, including father Tony, late uncle Rafael, and younger brother Camilo. The musical roots run deep. Qui?ones and Allende would go on to play several high-profile dates with Puente, including Carnegie Hall before they were even old enough to drive. You might ask, where does one go from there, when you have had the proverbial “mic drop” opportunity of a lifetime to play with a music icon.

While playing with contemporary jazz group Spyro Gyra, Qui?ones would have a chance meeting that would change his career trajectory for decades to come. It turns out that Butch Trucks, the legendary drummer of the Allman Brothers Band was a big Spyro Gyra fan. While attending a Spyro Gyra show, Trucks was intrigued by Qui?ones’ playing and went backstage to meet him. The two immediately hit it off. Later that year, Marc was invited to record on a new Allman Brothers record. He would go on to tour and record with the band until 2014 and would also support Gregg Allman‘s solo work until his death in 2017. 

Currently, Marc Qui?ones plays with his own salsa group 8 y Mas with his production partner Bobby Allende. Later this year, you can catch him touring with Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame group The Doobie Brothers and see him featured in work with arranger, producer Tony Succar

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Frank

Próspero: Creating Opportunities for BYMOC

What are the possibilities when community-based organizations have the space to be creative and innovative with funding? In this episode of Portraits in Color, you will hear about an interesting collaboration between city government, philanthropy, and nonprofits that create economic opportunities for boys and young men of color (BYMOC).

Pr?spero represents a unique approach to grant making. Instead of releasing a highly-prescriptive request for proposals (RFP), the Albuquerque Community Foundation, in collaboration with the City of Albuquerque and the Obama Foundation, decided that they wanted to create a fund that allowed nonprofits and social enterprises to freely test innovative ideas without restrictions. Five organizations received a share of $100,000 in prize money as part of a community-wide “pitch competition”, along with additional capacity-building support.

Joining the show to discuss the impact of Pr?spero are Joanna Colangelo from the Albuquerque Community Foundation, Charles Ashley III from Cultivating Coders, and Maria Gallegos and Jacob Olaguir from Working Classroom. ?

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The Power of Mentorship: Mentor Me

Mentor Me is a powerful collaborative of grantees, funded by the Albuquerque Community Foundation that pairs young men of color with adult mentors to build healthy relationships, learn valuable leadership skills, and become leaders in their communities. Its origins are rooted in a national movement, spearheaded by President Obama, in response to the tragic murder of Travon Martin. 

This episode features adult mentors and youth leaders from the Native American Community Academy/NACA Inspired Schools Network, Together for Brothers, and Three Sisters Kitchen–all Albuquerque-based organizations committed to elevating youth voice and preparing young people for the challenges of school, career, and life.

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Mass Incarceration in America: Isaac Bryan

Since the Reagan-era ‘War on Drugs,’ which expanded Nixon-era policies, our nation has seen a dramatic increase in the prison population. Despite increasing evidence that large-scale incarceration is not an effective means of achieving public safety, our nation continues to “cage” men and women of color at disproportionate rates. The problem has now extended to the inhumane detainment of immigrants and refugees in and around the border.

Episode 16 examines the issue of mass incarceration with expert Isaac Bryan.
Isaac Bryan is a policy shaper and published scholar, whose work has helped to advance activist led movements and policy change around issues of racial, economic, and social justice. Currently, Isaac serves as the founding Director of the UCLA Black Policy Project, head of the Public Policy Division for the Million Dollar Hoods Project, and as the Director of Public Policy for the UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center

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Being Image: Andrew Garrison

We live in a world where we constantly seek affirmation, whether in the form of “likes” on social media, or through our relationships. Andrew Garrison, author of the award winning book, Being Image stopped by the studio to share simple exercises to claim your authentic being and remove the distractions in our lives to enter a more fulfilling sense of “being.”

Andrew Garrison is the President/CEO of BodyFacts Wellness Services. He delivers trainings to nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies.  

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The Head Indigenerd: Lee Francis IV

Upon completing a doctorate in education, Lee Francis IV was faced with a career decision–follow the path of his father, who was an academic, or create his own path. He chose the latter. A self-proclaimed “Indigenerd,” Lee tells the stories of Native American superheroes and indigenous icons through comic books. He is the founder of Native Realities, a publishing company that produces and distributes comics to children, youth, and adults. He also is the founder of Indigenous Comic Con (now Indigenous Pop X) that brings together Native American creatives representing multiple art mediums. 

In this episode, we discuss the art of storytelling, the importance of owning your own content, and living life in the “gig economy.”  

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Frank

The Head Indigenerd: Lee Francis IV

Upon completing a doctorate in education, Lee Francis IV was faced with a career decision–follow the path of his father, who was an academic, or create his own path. He chose the latter. A self-proclaimed “Indigenerd,” Lee tells the stories of Native American superheroes and indigenous icons through comic books. He is the founder of Native Realities, a publishing company that produces and distributes comics to children, youth, and adults. He also is the founder of Indigenous Comic Con (now Indigenous Pop X) that brings together Native American creatives representing multiple art mediums. 

In this episode, we discuss the art of storytelling, the importance of owning your own content, and living life in the “gig economy.”  

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Frank

Developing Latino Leaders: Marco Davis

Representation matters. The recent emergence of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and presidential candidate Julin Castro demonstrate the power of intentional leadership development efforts. In this episode, Marco Davis, President/CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) shares his insights on leadership and how CHCI is building a pipeline of diverse racial, gender, geographic, and sector leadership to address the complex needs of the Latino community.

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Frank

My Brother’s Keeper: Michael Smith

One of the  major catalysts behind the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA), an initiative of the Obama Foundation, is Michael Smith who serves as the Executive Director. In this episode, Michael shares his deeply personal experiences with racism as a youth in western Massachusetts and how some of these formative experiences fuel his social impact work. Michael also brings to light issues that disproportionately impact boys and young men of color and how MBKA is responding.  
 
In 2014, President Obama launched My Brother?s Keeper initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and to ensure all youth can reach their full potential. In 2015 the My Brother?s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance) was launched, inspired by My Brother?s Keeper, to scale and sustain this mission.