Raquel Evita Saraswati is Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair at Family Equality, joining the team in March of 2018. Raquel has over a decade of experience in nonprofit management, development, communications and strategy. She is responsible for strengthening and growing our relationships with the foundations and corporations who support our mission, and with securing new foundation grants and corporate sponsorships to support our important work.
Raquel has a 20 year history of working to amplify the voices of other Muslim women and girls, LGBTQ+ Muslims, and those marginalized in faith spaces and in society as a whole. She has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ2SIA rights, and is a co-founder of the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD), and Sacred Justice, a coalition of LGBTQ2SIA faith leaders focused on healing abuses carried out in the name of religion, and on advancing social, racial and economic justice. She currently serves as Chair of the Mayor’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs for the City of Philadelphia. She was appointed to the Commission in 2017 by Mayor Jim Kenney.
She has lectured and published internationally, and has appeared in media outlets from France 24 to ABC and Al-Jazeera on matters ranging from gender-based violence and sexual violence to LGBTQ rights, contemporary slavery, forced and child marriage, and more. She is a recipient of the Colin Higgins Courage Award, which is granted annually to LGBTQ young people who have “endured overwhelming hostility and hate, but who have handled themselves with the utmost grace.” In 2019, Raquel was named “New Philly Power” by Philadelphia Magazine, which also named her a “liaison for the marginalized.” Also in 2019, the National Organization for Women’s Philadelphia chapter presented her with their annual “Woman of the Year” award; and The Rad Awards presented her with their annual “Rad Girl of the Year” award, which celebrates “spirited women who achieve, innovate, and inspire.”