CHESTERTOWN—Baltimore radio host Marc Steiner will moderate a discussion with authors Kari Lydersen and Gabriel Thompson when the New Labor Journalism series at Washington College concludes Wednesday, April 13. The event will take place at 4:30 p.m. at the Rose O’Neill Literary House, 407 Washington Avenue. The series has brought award-winning writers and visual artists to campus to illustrate ways the media covers the lives of America’s working poor.
Kari Lydersen is the author of several books, most recently Revolt on Goose Island: The Chicago Factory Takeover and What it Says About the Economic Crisis (Melville House, 2009). That book recounts the story of workers at Chicago’s Republic Windows & Doors who refused to leave the plant when the owners shut it down in the early days of the financial meltdown. Her previous books include Shoot an Iraqi: Life, Art, Resistance Under the Gun, which she co-authored with Iraqi born artist Wafaa Bilal (City Lights Press, 2008), and Out of the Sea and Into the Fire: Latin American-US Immigration in the Global Age (Common Courage Press, 2005).
A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Lydersen spent more than a decade as a staff writer for the Midwest bureau of the Washington Post, leaving in 2009 to devote herself full time to teaching and free-lancing. She teaches journalism at Columbia College and through the Urban Youth International Journalism Program and is a contributing editor of the newsmagazine In These Times and its “Working in These Times” blog. Last month Lydersen received the 2011 Studs Terkel Community Award in recognition of her journalistic contributions to the city of Chicago.
Gabriel Thompson is a writer and author who focuses on immigrant labor issues. His most recent book, Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs [Most] Americans Won't Do (Nation Books, 2010) follows his experiences working alongside undocumented immigrants in lettuce fields in Arizona, in a chicken slaughterhouse in Alabama, in a New York City flower shop and as a bicycle delivery boy for an upscale restaurant in Manhattan.
An earlier job as a community organizer for a housing advocacy group in Brooklyn led to his first book, Calling All Radicals: How Grassroots Organizers Can Save Our Democracy (Nation Books, 2007). He is also the author of There's No José Here: Following the Hidden Lives of Mexican Immigrants (Nation Books, 2007) which shares the travails of a cab driver Thompson came to know through his housing work.
Marc Steiner, whose public affairs show airs weekdays on WEAA 88.9 FM, the public radio station of Morgan State University, has been a fixture of Baltimore public radio since 1993 when the first Marc Steiner Show aired on what was then WJHU and is today’s WYPR. He and the show moved to WEAA in 2008. Steiner often hosts interviews and discussions on issues of education, social justice, race and community activism. In 2000 he founded the non-profit Center for Emerging Media to give voice to “the disenfranchised and dispossessed.”
The April 13 event, which is sponsored by the Rose O’Neil Literary House at Washington College, will be recorded for broadcast on WEAA. For more information, please visit: http://lithouse.washcoll.edu/.