Xeres Villanueva (she/her/hers) has deep roots in community building, social entrepreneurship, spirituality and activism. She is involved in community building projects such as Tuesday Night Cafe and various social justice groups. She has been in the worlds of freelancing, small business and non-profits throughout her career. Xeres is also a co-founder of the WE Empowerment Center, a grassroots financial receivership organization dedicated to support liberatory community and creative projects. Her interests are media and pop culture, cultural and art activism, liberation movements, economic empowerment and food.
The journey of freeing myself from the money ghosts and even befriending them has been like a spiraling staircase. I may be walking up or down the stairs and still uncover layers. It has not been a straightforward ride. It has required shifting and de-conditioning my sense of self before being motivated to seek out money mindset therapy and financial literacy work that does not reinforce prosperity gospel, bootstrap mentality, binary thinking, or economic injustice.
Before the wake began, my cousins and I watched as my mother, her older sister, and her younger brother prayed together as a family. Suddenly, my mom started to pray eloquently in our regional dialect. Something was happening; my mother didn’t generally pray publicly or spontaneously.
I SAT FROZEN in my seat, inwardly screaming at myself to do or say something. I looked down at my lap, where the man sitting next to me had placed his hand. Fear raced through my mind, contributing to the panic that pulsed through me.