With profound sorrow and love, the Solidaire team is sharing that the giant that is now our movement ancestor, Ravi Khanna, has passed on. We are taking the week to mourn collectively. We will continue to uplift his work and contribution to the movement.
Ravi Prasad Khanna, age 69, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his children and loved ones, after valiantly fighting squamous cell carcinoma. He was born in 1953, in Lucknow, India and moved to the United States in the late 1970s. He is survived by his wife Shirley, five beloved children – Anjali, Asha, Shyam, Quinn and Priya, and five grandchildren.
Throughout Ravi’s incredible life of service, he worked to uplift the voices of people most marginalized by those in power. His work included nurturing progressive philanthropy; organizing policy and advocacy campaigns; hosting a news and opinion website focused on amplifying the voices of activists from the Global South; and producing documentaries on the so-called “war on drugs”, stopping child labor, and disrupting corporate globalization. He also provided training for immigrant-led organizations; raised funds to support frontline organizing; and served as a philanthropic advisor.
In an illustrious career spanning five decades, Ravi worked with many social justice organizations including Solidaire Network and Solidaire Action, Centro Nacional de Comunicacion Social (D.F., Mexico), Grassroots International, Haymarket People’s Fund, Movimiento Ciudadano por la Democracia (D.F., Mexico), Oxfam America, Peace Development Fund, Resist, Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, and Women’s Rights International. When not building grassroots power, Ravi could be found cooking, sampling new cuisines, planning travel adventures and enjoying quality time with his children and grandchildren.
Ravi was committed to operationalizing his core values of love, solidarity and interdependence as Solidaire’s Director of Finance and Operations, since 2018. He led the path to Solidaire Network becoming an independent 501 c3 organization, led our first audit and put into place justice-centered policies and practices that continue to grow a strong culture of care. Most recently, in his role as our Elder-in-Residence, he began to engage in research, documentation and conversations with movement elders to reflect on their life’s work and share key movement building lessons for intergenerational dialogue. He wanted us to honor and celebrate the many movement elders in the United States and from the Global South on whose shoulders we stand. We now consider Ravi one of our movement ancestors, guiding us in the next phase of our work for collective liberation.