Cheryl Corley

Cheryl Corley is an NPR correspondent who works for the National Desk and is based in Chicago. She travels throughout the Midwest covering issues and events throughout the region's 12 states.

In recent years, Corley has reported on the campaign and re-election of President Barack Obama, on the efforts by Illinois officials to rethink the state's Juvenile Justice System, on youth violence in Chicago, and on political turmoil in the Illinois state government. She's reported on the infamous Trayvon Martin shooting case in Florida and covered tornadoes that have destroyed homes and claimed lives in Harrisburg, Illinois; small towns in Oklahoma; and Joplin, Missouri.

In addition, Corley was among the group of NPR reporters covering the devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as they tore through the Gulf Coast. She returned to the area, five years later, and joined the reporting team covering the impact of the BP oil spill. Corley also has served as a fill-in host for NPR shows, including Weekend All Things Considered, Tell Me More, and Morning Edition.

Prior to joining NPR, Corley was the news director at Chicago's public radio station, WBEZ, where she supervised an award-winning team of reporters. She also has been a frequent panelist on television news-affairs programs in Chicago.

Corley has received awards for her work from a number of organizations including the National Association of Black Journalists, the Associated Press, the Public Radio News Directors Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She earned the Community Media Workshop's Studs Terkel Award for excellence in reporting on Chicago's diverse communities and a Herman Kogan Award for reporting on immigration issues.

A Chicago native, Corley graduated cum laude from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and is now a Bradley University trustee. While in Peoria, Corley worked as a reporter and news director for public radio station WCBU and as a television director for the NBC affiliate, WEEK-TV. She is a past President of the Association for Women Journalists in Chicago.

She is also the co-creator of the Cindy Bandle Young Critics Program. The critics/journalism training program for female high school juniors is a collaboration between AWJ-Chicago and the Goodman Theatre. Corley has also served as a board member of Community Television Network, an organization that trains Chicago youth in video and multi-media production.

With Donald Trump's choices for secretaries of transportation and of housing and urban development — Elaine Chao and Dr. Ben Carson, respectively — there may be hints about the urban agenda Trump's administration may be shaping. Some big-city mayors say they're worried about potential cuts in federal funding that candidate Trump warned about on the stump, and they are reaching out to the president-elect. They say they have plenty of ideas they want to share about the country's cities. Chicago...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: Demonstrators have been out in force all across the country today protesting the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The federal government halted construction of the pipeline yesterday, saying it needed to study it more. And today the company building the pipeline has gone to court in an effort to finish the project. NPR's Cheryl Corley is with us from Bismarck, N.D. Hi there, Cheryl. CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE...

It will be a night of tension and hope for baseball fans in Chicago when the Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers play Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday. If the Cubs win, they will move on to the World Series to face the American League champion Cleveland Indians. It will be a step closer to fulfilling a wish of a faithful fan, 101-year-old Virginia Wood. Wearing a Cubs T-shirt and surrounded by family, Wood was ready for baseball Thursday night when the Cubs and Dodgers...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: And let's remember a man who brought blues to music fans across the country. Phil Chess has died at age 95. He co-founded Chess Records, the Chicago label that was home to Etta James and Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. NPR's Cheryl Corley has more. CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Phil Chess and his brother, Leonard, started out running a liquor store then a nightclub and eventually got into the record business. By 1950,...

In an effort to heal the fractured relationship between the Chicago Police Department and city residents, the city council voted to approve a new police oversight agency, but some critics say the new agency isn't a solution to the problems facing the community. The police oversight agency investigates police misconduct cases, but after the Independent Police Review Authority reviewed hundreds of cases and rarely found the police officers at fault and last year's release of a video showing a...

Each of the photos in Capt. William A. Prickitt's album could fit in a locket: headshots of 17 black soldiers who served under the Union Army officer during the Civil War, most of their names handwritten on the mat surrounding the images. At just 2 inches tall, the square, leather-bound album itself could be easily misplaced among the more than 35,000 artifacts it will join at the Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture when it opens this week in Washington,...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR .

Tacarra Morgan lives in a big two-story, A-frame house that sits next to an empty, grassy corner lot on Chicago's South Side. On a sunny afternoon earlier in July, gunfire broke out while the 6-year-old sat on the porch with her grandmother and her mother, Carolyn Morris. "All l I know, bullets starting coming from that way. I didn't see who was shooting," Morris says. "I didn't see anything and my daughter is so strong, I didn't even know she was shot." They all ran in the house; all Tacarra...

In churches across the country, pastors, priests and other religious leaders will talk to a nation still reeling from this past week's fatal shootings of two black men by police officers and the death of five police officers slain by a lone gunman. People often turn to faith during times of crisis — attending services and listening to sermons. The Rev. Jacqueline King, pastor of the all-white First United Methodist Church outside Baton Rouge, La., says there's been so much anger and fear and...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tiny homes, which can be as little as 50 to 300 square feet, are growing in popularity as a solution for the homeless. In Chicago, advocates want to build tiny houses to serve a specific marginalized group — homeless youth, especially those who identify as LGBTQ. "Most of the cities in the country that have already implemented housing tiny homes for the homeless are doing it for the chronically homeless or veterans, so no one yet is doing it specifically for the youth target population," says...

Chicago's North Broadway Street is always bustling, but in the past few weeks, it has been noisier than ever. There is water flowing from an open fire hydrant, and as traffic inches by, a cement truck backs up and pours concrete down into a big hole in the street. "Well, we always say there's two seasons: either winter and construction," says Maureen Martino, the executive director of the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce. This water main upgrade is only the beginning; Martino says the city...

It was a controversial move when Madison, Wis., decided to replace all its lead pipes in 2001 . But that decision put the city ahead of the curve — allowing it to avoid the lead water contamination that is plaguing cities like Flint, Mich., now. Madison started using copper instead of lead water pipes in the late 1920s. The bulk of the lead lines were located in the older part of the city, which is downtown near Wisconsin's state Capitol. Sue Bauman, the city's mayor from 1997 to 2003, lives...

The once routine practice of getting a glass of water before a restaurant meal in Flint, Mich., is now fraught with apprehension, since lead pipes started leaching into the drinking water after officials switched to the highly corrosive Flint River as the city's water supply. The crisis over lead-contaminated water has touched every aspect of life in Flint, and for restaurants, it could not have come at a worse time. In the past few years, restaurants have been resurging, especially in...

More than a year ago, 18-year-old Michael Brown's death in a police shooting roiled the small town of Ferguson, Mo., and sparked nationwide protests. Recovery and negotiations have been going on since then, but residents have different ideas about how the city should move forward. Next week, a negotiated settlement between the city and the Justice Department overhauling the department's practices will come up for a city council vote. Ferguson residents such as Blake Ashby argued during a...

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been fending off increasing calls for his resignation. There's also an effort underway to develop a recall law that would allow voters to replace Emanuel before the next election. "On the defensive" was not a phrase often associated with Emanuel, but that has changed since the city released a video of the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald . There have been protests in Chicago for weeks . Demonstrators have gathered downtown and even in...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Linda Wertheimer. The country witnessed another year of widespread protests, many of them sparked by the deaths of young people of color in encounters with police. Now activists in cities are gearing up for their next steps in 2016. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports. CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Baltimore, Minneapolis, Madison, Wisc., those are...

After months of negotiations, the battle over locker room access for a transgender student in Illinois ended late last night when Township High School District 211 — about 30 miles northwest of Chicago — approved a deal with the Department of Education. For nearly three hours, the board met in a closed session — ultimately voting yes on the agreement which allows the transgender student to use private areas within the locker room. While the agreement ends the threat of the district losing...

For high school students looking to choose a college, grade-point averages and test scores may weigh heavily on their minds. But campus atmosphere may not be far behind given recent demonstrations on college campuses across the country. Students at the University of Missouri's flagship campus in Columbia were the forefront of a wave of protests over racist incidents and the reaction of school officials. For some high school students, those protests make racial relations factor highly in their...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: Today was a day of reckoning for former House speaker Dennis Hastert. The former Illinois congressman's legacy as the longest-serving Republican speaker is now in shreds. Hastert pleaded guilty to violating federal banking rules when he paid nearly $2 million to an unnamed individual. Here's NPR's Cheryl Corley. CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Flanked by two attorneys, 73-year-old Dennis Hastert, white-haired...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: President Obama is headed for Chicago next week to address police chiefs gathering from around the world. The event is putting a spotlight on the push for criminal justice reforms. Activists in Chicago are already holding what they're calling a counter-conference. And rallies against police brutality are being held around the country. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports. (SOUNDBITE OF RALLY) UNIDENTIFIED...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: A rally in Washington tomorrow will focus on the challenges facing people of color. It's a commemoration of one of the largest gatherings in the nation's history, the Million Man March. Twenty years ago, Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, urged African-American men to travel to the nation's capital. Farrakhan was divisive then and continues to be, still making anti-Semitic, racist and...

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have become an everyday part of life for many young people — and increasingly, the way some, including rival gang members, threaten each other. The practice is called "cyber banging," and it's often led to fights and even death. Jaime, 17, has been in a gang for two years and is trying to leave. NPR agreed to use only his first name for his safety. Logging onto a computer at the YMCA of Metro Chicago, he clicks on a video in his Facebook feed. It shows a group of...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: This year, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel got himself re-elected after a tough campaign. And now comes a tough question of governing. Candidates did not talk much about higher property taxes during the campaign, but now the mayor wants Chicago aldermen to approve a tax increase. The mayor says the tax hike is the best way to address deep financial problems caused in part by Chicago's underfunded pensions....

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Winning a big lottery prize can be a dream come true. In Illinois, it's more like a dream deferred. That's because lawmakers and the state's governor can't agree on a budget. Lottery officials say anyone who wins more than $25,000 can't be paid until that budget is in place. NPR's Cheryl Corley sent this report. CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: At a corner convenience store on Chicago's North Side, people are...

Many chefs dream of opening their own restaurant. But Laura Martinez faced an obstacle that many people thought would make that dream impossible to fulfill: The 31-year-old chef is blind. It took two years for Martinez to open La Diosa , her tiny restaurant in Chicago, this past January. In addition to her white chef's jacket, Martinez wears dark sunglasses when she works. The soft-spoken chef traces her passion for cooking to a few things. First, there were the knives: "I always loved knives...

How can you tell if a city has come back from a tragedy as devastating as Hurricane Katrina? Ten years after the levees failed in New Orleans, and the waters of Lake Pontchartrain, whipped up by Hurricane Katrina, flooded most of the city, New Orleans residents say there's been much progress since then. A new NPR/Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that a majority surveyed — 54 percent — says New Orleans has mostly recovered, measured by returning population, new housing, jobs, infrastructure...

Pages