afRika Tyler was born and raised in the heart of Saint Louis, Mo in 1994. Rika has always been a people person and a loving and supporter for children. Growing up in the west side of Saint Louis, Rika was able to experience the oppression of the people and the community at a young age.

Moving to Saint Charles county, a rural area out of the Saint Louis Region, Rika had experienced a lot of racism. Rika was the only black cheerleader, soccer player, and gymnast for a long time. The different exposure from growing up in the city and experiencing the different culture of people only made her wiser. Rika was a 3 year high school graduate and went to Lincoln University of Missouri- A Historical Black College located in Jefferson City when she studied history.

For 2 years Rika was an intern to some of the congress and senators at the State Capitol in Jefferson City where she began to learn more about the Government and how it is operated. She even was able to learn how to create a bill and the process of getting it signed and passed. Rika was also a cheerleader at Lincoln University where she did several community outreach events from children to senior citizens. In 2012 after the uprising from the Trayvon Martin’s case, Rika organized her first Social Justice rally and protest held in Jefferson City. Ever since then she became very conscious around Social Justice work.
In August of 2014, after the killing of Michael Brown Jr, Rika life had changed drastically. As a mother of one, she was devastated about seeing Michael Brown Jr lay in the middle of the street for 4 1/2 hours. She was on the forefront of every protest since then, she became a voice for her community. Rika has planned direct actions and bridged international solidarity with communities in Mexico and Palestine.

Rika is a Program Director of Hands Up United- a collective grass roots organization of politically engaged minds building towards the liberation of Black, Brown and Oppressed people through art, education, agriculture, advocacy and civil disobedience. As program director of Hands Up United, Rika works on ensuring programs are aligned to serving the community of Ferguson and the Greater St. Louis area.