Kari Lydersen is a Chicago-based reporter, author and journalism instructor. She currently is co-director of the Social Justice News Nexus, a Fellowship program at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University that brings together graduate students and professional reporters to do in-depth stories on topics including drug policy and mental health. Kari covers energy for Midwest Energy News and labor issues for Working In These Times; and freelances for other publications with a focus on energy, environment, immigration, labor and indigenous issues. From 2013-2014, she was a research associate at the Medill Watchdog Project at Northwestern. Through 2009 she was a staff writer in the Midwest bureau of the Washington Post; after that she wrote for the Chicago edition of the New York Times through the Chicago News Cooperative. Her work has also appeared in Discover Magazine, Crain's Chicago Business, The Economist, Newsmax, People Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, High Country News, the Chicago Reader, the Chicago Reporter and other publications. In 2011-2012 she was a Ted Scripps Environmental Journalism fellow at the University of Colorado, studying energy and mining issues and working on an ongoing project regarding hard rock mining in the U.S. and abroad. She is the author of four books including Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun (City Lights, 2008), Revolt on Goose Island: The Chicago Window Factory Takeover and What it Says About the Economic Crisis (Melville House, 2009) and most recently Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago’s 99% (Haymarket Books, 2013). She also has taught journalism at Columbia College Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and she works with youth from marginalized communities through the non-profit journalism program We the People Media. She graduated from Northwestern University with a journalism degree in 1997. She is a former national champion in marathon swimming (15 kilometers and 25 kilometers) and a national team member in pool swimming. Today she competes in marathons and triathlons; and lives in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood where she also leads mural tours.