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Former DEI Officer Speaks Out Against Racial Allegations and Misinformation

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Human rights activist Raquel Saraswati vindicated by DNA results confirming that she is a woman of color.

PHILADELPHIA - EntSun -- Former DEI officer and American Friends Service Committee executive, Raquel Saraswati, who made headlines this past February for allegedly misrepresenting her identity, responds to the rumors and misinformation that distorted the truth.

"I know that many have been perplexed by my silence. Few can understand the complexities of dealing with deeply personal issues on an international scale," says Saraswati. "I have been subjected to malicious distortions and in some cases wildly falsified accusations about my work, my Muslim faith, and my identity. No person should have complex and painful private matters turned into public spectacles. Such an act is abusive and reckless."

Saraswati completed three independent and extensive DNA tests, which were reviewed and verified by Dr. Jayne Bird of Philadelphia. "Raquel has been my regular patient since 2018. As a dermatologist, I classify her skin type as Fitzpatrick Skin Type 4, meaning she has light brown/olive skin color. Natural skin color is determined by genetics and skin type often represents a blend of ethnicities. The basis of that genetic testing revealed that Raquel is of mixed heritage. Her DNA includes North African (close to 40%), West Asian, Greek and South Italian (these two are grouped as one category representing approximately 6% of Raquel's DNA) and low amounts (<5%) of Nigerian and other ethnicities. Based on this genetic testing, and my observations of Raquel as a patient, it is clearly established that she is skin type 4 and skin of color."

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The former American Friends Service Committee executive had recently completed a DEI audit of the organization which summarized findings from over 300 interviews, a staff survey, and a comprehensive desk review. Days before releasing the report, she began to experience hostile and bigoted public attacks which left her blindsided and unemployed. Saraswati was hired by the AFSC following a rigorous five-month hiring process in which she was interviewed by dozens of people, completed projects, and was determined to be the best and most qualified candidate.

"It is my God-given right to pursue, embrace and celebrate the truth of my personhood. We are each the experts on our own lives. Anonymous, troubled, or unscrupulous individuals are not. Sadly, this extends to some biological and non-biological family members, including my own mother. I continue to wish all parties peace, but this ordeal was a reminder that the decision I made to walk away decades ago was the right one. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and other forms of violence, I affirm the right of all people to self-determination. I am grateful to the extended family, friends, and individuals from all over the world who have been supportive. I remain deeply committed to my work in service to marginalized communities and to ensuring safe and truly inclusive workplaces for everyone."

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Olivia Walker

Source: Evolved Public Relations
Filed Under: Women, Culture

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