Siri Chilukuri, Freelance Journalist
How long have you been a journalists? 4 years
What is your beat/focus? climate change, culture and cities
How did you get started in journalism? I joined my school newspaper as a way to fulfill a journalism minor requirement and I fell in love with it. Initially, I did the minor because I thought it might look good on a law school application but little did I know that plan wouldn’t work out the way I thought it would.
Where have you been published? The Guardian, Teen Vogue, Them., InStyle, Vice
What is your favorite piece you've written and why? My favorite piece I’ve ever written is actually not a climate piece but it’s about a group a Queer and Trans South Asian organization called Trikone based in Chicago. I wrote it for an internship I did at a local outlet called Block Club Chicago and it was just such a joy getting to cover my own community and help people feel seen.
How did you become an Uproot member? I remember when the Uproot Project launched and I immediately wanted to join so I joined the list and shortly after was added to the slack. I really admire the other journalists in here and getting to share space with them has been amazing.
What's a piece of advice you would give your younger self? Be fearless! You’re not always going to do the exact right thing but don’t let fear dictate how you live your life.
What are you reading? Right now I’m reading Emily Henry’s Book Lovers and Sarah Thankam Mathews’ All This Could Be Different. I have started to read more Queer South Asian authors and it has been really emotionally fulfilling to feel recognized in those portrayals of Queerness.
What is your most essential ritual? My most essential ritual is listening to public radio in the morning. I’ve been listening to WBEZ every morning since I was little and as I’ve gotten older it’s been amazing to hear friends and colleagues on the radio alongside people I’ve listened to my whole life.
What's your ethos to journalism? My journalism ethos is centered on complicating narratives. I like to delve into the nuance of situations and evaluate the power structures, the people involved and see what is going on beyond a simplified lens. What’s the gray area? Who is being pushed aside for a perceived greater good?
Who is your favorite climate reporter? Kendra Pierre-Louis, her climate reporting was my favorite even before I knew I wanted to be a climate reporter. I think she’s got such an important critical perspective and we need journalists like that evaluate such a complex issue.
What's your favorite flower? Poppies! They are the flower of my birth month.
Favorite place you've traveled to? Probably India, it’s different to go to a country that you have family and roots in.