Arlana Shikongo

Education and Youth Editor, The Real Chi


Arlana is a proud Namibian who moved to the United States to pursue her higher education in media. She graduated from Ithaca College, NY with a BA degree in journalism, with minors in writing and economics.

With her journalism, she focuses on issues of development economics and civic engagement. At Free Spirit Media, Arlana is the education and youth development editor for The Real Chi, which entails covering stories in the West and South side neighborhoods of Chicago that focus on schools, community action, and youth engagement, activism, and access.

In this role, she aims to amplify the voices of communities whose stories are ignored and exacerbated by oppressive and systemic social and economic structures. She focuses on sociopolitical themes encompassing identity, culture, and society; and is passionate about the story in all things. She wants her work to have the impact of inclusion and visibility— work that speaks to the people it speaks of, accurately, fairly and passionately.

Her mediums of creative expression include photography, visual storytelling, and creative writing. In her free time, she’s either writing poetry, sketching, scrapbooking, gardening or binge-watching TV series. "