Arika received her Master of Public Health from Oregon State University where she studied international health with a focus on culturally just and effective maternal and child health programs. She received her BA from Antioch College in cultural and interdisciplinary studies with a focus on multicultural primary education, and also received an Ohio teacher’s certification for grades K-8. She has spent most of her career working on issues impacting children and families in marginalized communities including working as a preschool teacher, English/Swahili speaking Parent Educator, and a Community Organizer for Stand for Children. As a Community Health Worker (CHW) she served African immigrant and refugee families prior to moving to the Multnomah County Capacitation Center where she developed curriculum for CHW training and co-facilitated CHW training. Arika’s last position before moving to PCL was as the Early Life Programs Director at the Oregon Community Health Workers Association where she managed the Community Education Worker (CEW) program and two Community Health Worker programs in chronic disease and maternal and child health.
She is passionate about addressing the role of systemic racism and oppression in health and educational outcomes, cultural humility, popular education and community empowerment.