The Money is the Medicine (poem)

Adrian H Molina aka Molina Speaks

Whose land do we stand on, legacies erased?

Aho, can we heal this reality

as philanthropy claims new legacies?

A sleepwalking sector—

moving at a glacier pace

while the planet melts

black and brown lives.

Decisions made from above

plummet the human spirit below

but philanthropy is “love.”

Love is honesty.

Honesty is pride.

Pride is not ego.

Pride is medicine. And money

is the medicine here.

Why are we hiding the medicine from the people?

(while calling “the root” evil…)

The root is radical. Radical is the healing here

where the Titanic’s norms are upside down.

Is the economy broken? It is certainly not

right-side up, for we know this inequality is wrongwalking into the

Black library on Welton Street

in old Five Points in “New Denver”

in our clean white clothes

heckled by the homeless, clutching our wallets,

double-click locking our car doors,

walking into the grand conference room

to learn how to “decolonize” wealth.

To decolonize the colonizer virus, follow these steps:

1. Grieve.

And face inward your healing—

your positionality. Only you know your truth.

Reconcile your truth, America.

2. Apologize.

And face outward your healing.

3. Listen.

With your heart, not your mouth. Feel in.

4. Relate.

Meaning be human, meaning be vulnerable

with all our relations.

5. Represent. Authentically.

6. Invest. Authentically.

7. Repair.

Is there any doubt why the words

“repair” and “reparations” share the same root?




Has white supremacy blown its final Trumpet?

Have we arrived? In the era of gross?

The era of shame? The era of blame?

Playing a final game now of thrones?

Why are we (philanthropy) holding on to $800 billion on a 15-year timeline for survival?

Can we own up to how we are harming

our communities, creating schisms, fueling isms?

Holding onto 95% of the wealth, stowed away

in the coffers? We need to move it ALL.

GIVE IT ALL AWAY…10 years…

While we can still talk about our fears.

We are all looking into the great mirror of fear,

paid for the silence

in our eyes, in our hearts,

in our minds, facing the spirit

as the body depends (seemingly)

on the very structures that feed us.

Is the answer within your position

to take the reins/reigns?

Or to resign in protest?

There is a way. We need to innovate

to shift the culture forward in vision

with indigenous wisdom.

Everyone here has the knowledge

to go back far enough into the future

to know

how to choose joy,

to choose laughter,

to choose love,

to choose passion

AS WE DECLARE—our lines, our stands, our circles:

our commitments to racial justice, gender justice,

economic justice: our visions of flipping billions

in wealth and overcrowded prisons

into centers of future living

for formerly incarcerated women

of color.

…That is just one idea…What are yours?

Why do you stay (in the field)?

Because white supremacy is everywhere. This is somewhere.

Where we have access and power

to move access and power.

There is a time to stay.

There is a time to do the work, then walk away.

Either way…

Hold on to your culture.

Hold on to your spirit.

Hold your line.

Cast the net wide

and extend that line

every single day

in ways that only you know how.

The prescriptions:

Teach the youth about money

and how to move it.

Advocate for people of color,

especially if you are people of color.

(Don’t hide).

White men, engage

and push the Boards of white men forward.

Gatekeepers—open the gates of imagination

and engage the subjects of our work.

Treat them as experts, not subjects.

(Show them respect.)

If you are in power, stop trying to teach.

Start trying to learn. This is an act

of healing.

Treat each dollar like an investment

(personally and professionally).

Spend your values. Share your bounty

in alignment with your truths and rites.

Meet the people where they are at

where you are at,

seeking and offering

the grace you wish for yourself.

Check yourself before you wreck your…mirrors.

Heal your self care. This is love work

and there is no way out.

This (philanthropy) is not magic, but it is medicine.

Follow seven steps to heaven:

  1. Decolonize.
  2. Decolonize.
  3. Decolonize.
  4. Decolonize.
  5. Decolonize.
  6. Decolonize.
  7. Decolonize.

Copyright © 2019 Adrian H Molina. Commissioned by Grantmakers in the Arts for this issue of the Reader.

A live scribe poem by Adrian H Molina, aka Molina Speaks, created at a Decolonizing Wealth book talk by Edgar Villanueva reflecting the experience and sentiments of community hosted by Voqal and COFIE Blair-Caldwell Library, Denver, March 11, 2019. Molina is a master of ceremonies, artist, poet, adjunct college professor, facilitator, and creative consultant for a better world. While living in Denver, he has continued his work in rural areas in Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. His multicultural upbringing and pan-indigenous philosophy inform his understanding of intersectionality at a root level.