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.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: A moment of baseball joy has turned sour. Last year, a Little League team from Chicago made a big impression. Jackie Robinson West lost the league's international World Series, but it won the U.S. championship. Well, today, league officials stripped the team of that championship. The reason - it had players who lived outside the boundaries set for the squad. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports. CHERYL CORLEY,...

Right next to the Chicago River on the city's North Side, Lathrop Homes , with its black, white and Latino residents, is considered the city's most diverse public housing. It's also on the National Register of Historic Places . And with 925 low-rise units on about 30 acres, it's big. But these days, only a fraction of those apartments are occupied. Miguel Suarez has lived in Lathrop Homes for 25 years. He says the Chicago Housing Authority, or CHA, offered people housing vouchers to move...

This is the time of year when it's not uncommon to see big trucks barreling down highways and streets spreading road salt. Steve Corsi, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, says that translates into high levels of chloride concentrations for rivers like the Milwaukee in Wisconsin or 18 other streams near urban areas in Illinois, Ohio, Colorado and several other states. "At many of the streams, concentrations have now exceeded those that are harmful to aquatic life," he says. Corsi...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: Around this country people clearly want their voices to be heard after the killing of two unarmed black men by police officers in New York and Missouri. There have been protests in cities around the United States. Tomorrow the focus turns here to Washington, D.C., for what's being called a national march against police violence. But there are some who want another voice to be heard more - President...

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: We're awaiting word any moment of the grand jury decision out of St. Louis county whether to indict Darren Wilson. That's the white police officer who fatally shot black 18-year-old Michael Brown. NPR's Cheryl Corley is at the courthouse which is in Clayton, Missouri, just outside of Ferguson. Hello there, Cheryl. CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Hi, Audie. CORNISH: So begin by telling... CORLEY: Yeah, we have a...

It's not certain that a grand jury decision in a Ferguson, Mo., case will be announced this weekend, but officials, protesters and city leaders have been preparing. The grand jury, which will decide whether a white police officer who shot an unarmed black 18-year-old will face charges, met behind closed doors Friday. The city is bracing for what comes next. It been more than three months since Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says during...

In the weeks after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., protesters gathered daily at the site of a burned-out convenience store. About a block away, the empty lot of a boarded-up restaurant became the campsite for a group of young activists called the Lost Voices. During the protests, the group "invited all the people who can't come out every day and wanted to share the experience with us," says Lenard Smith. One night, the Lost Voices was holding a ...

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When it comes to studying sexual violence, college surveys often don't include students at historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs. But one major study found sexual assaults are lower on those campuses than others. Some question those numbers and whether HBCUs have the resolve to openly address the issue of campus rape. Of the 100 HBCUs in the country, Morgan State University in Baltimore ranks in the top 15 for academics. During the school's fall matriculation convocation,...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TESS VIGELAND, HOST: It has been one week since a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri shot an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, to death. Since then, there have been nightly protests - some turned violent. Last night, violence erupted again after the police released the name of the officer along with a video that indicated Brown might have been a robbery suspect. Today, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a...

New information was released Friday about the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo. The police chief finally released the name of the officer who shot Michael Brown and an incident report listing Brown as a suspect in a recent convenience store robbery. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is promising a full investigation. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A fifth night of violence erupted in a St. Louis suburb, as Ferguson police again clashed with protesters. Community frustration has only escalated since the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager on Saturday. Ferguson's police chief called for calm, while reiterating that he will not release the name of the officer who shot Brown. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon also spoke out for more peaceful relations between police and protesters. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http:...

There was no pomp and circumstance, no procession with classmates, but on Friday a school district in Illinois finally handed Alva Early his high school diploma — more than five decades after he attended Galesburg High School. In 1959, Galesburg banned Earley from graduating and denied him a diploma after he and other African-Americans had a picnic in a park that was unofficially off-limits to blacks. Earley, now a retired attorney, says he never thought the day would come, but as the...

Thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America have been crossing the Southern border of the U.S. over the past few months. That's led to protests and debates — not only in the Southwest but across the country, as children have been given shelter in cities and towns that are sometimes quite far from the border. In Iowa — a state with a history of providing a safe place for refugees — the question of these undocumented minors has caused a stark divide. While Iowa's governor says none...

Although the governor of Iowa says that unaccompanied minors from Central America should not find shelter in his state, more than 100 are already there. But the mayor of Des Moines, the state's largest city, and many religious leaders are at odds with the governor. They say Iowa should be welcoming and help children in need. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: We've reported on protesters in the Southwest who oppose the presence of...

Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: In Chicago, there were many shootings over the July 4 weekend. Police say nine Chicago residents were killed; more than 50 were injured. At least eight people who were shot were shot by police. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports. CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy says his department had a plan over the July 4 holiday that included putting hundreds of more officers on the city streets when and where they were needed. (SOUNDBITE OF...

There are 13 presidential Libraries in the United States run by the National Archives, and when President Obama leaves office, the construction of the 14th library won't be far behind. A nonprofit foundation created to fund and build the Obama presidential library is already beginning to mull proposals from contenders who'd like to be home to the facility. Think of this fight over a presidential library like a boxing match with contenders in three corners of the ring — all looking to win the...

This story is part of All Things Considered 's " Men in America " series. In America, nearly 40 percent of black boys live in poverty, and barely half will graduate from high school. But it's quite a different story for young black men at a public charter high school in Chicago. For five years running, 100 percent of the graduating seniors at Urban Prep Academies have won admission to four-year colleges, and they've collectively earned millions of dollars in scholarships and grants. Urban...

From the shoreline at North Avenue Beach in Chicago, the blue water of Lake Michigan stretches as far as the eye can see. But beneath that pristine image, there's a barely visible threat, says Jennifer Caddick of the Alliance for the Great Lakes: microbeads. These tiny bits of plastic, small scrubbing components used in hundreds of personal care products like skin exfoliants and soap, can slip through most water treatment systems when they wash down the drain. Environmentalists say they're a...

As bicycling goes, America is far behind Copenhagen, the promised land where roads look like bicycle highways as people pedal to work. But commuting by bike in the U.S. is catching on — though geographic, income and gender disparities persist. In Chicago, busy Sheridan Road is the start of the Lakefront bike trail on its north side. That's where you can find plenty of bicyclists commuting to work early in the morning. "I'm one of those year-round warriors, unless the weather is really bad,"...

Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: No smoking signs now have an expanded meaning in Chicago and New York. The image of a cigarette in a red circle with a line through it now applies to e-cigarettes, too. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports on the new laws that went into effect in both cities today. CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: At a shop called Smoque on Chicago's North Side, there's no tobacco. Instead, says owner Jared Yucht, it's a store full of batteries for e-cigarettes and different-flavored e-liquids...

The president recently signed an executive order raising the minimum hourly wage to $10.10 for workers employed by federal contractors — including those with disabilities. That's a victory for disabled workers who can make just pennies per hour at so-called sheltered workplaces. While some call sheltered workshops a godsend, others say they are examples of good intentions gone wrong. Sertoma Centre, located in Chicago's south suburbs, is one such organization. It provides employment...

It's no question the weather's been brutal for some communities, including Washington, Ill., a town of 15,000 in the central part of the state. When a tornado ripped through the area last November three people died and more than a thousand homes were damaged. Displaced residents recently filled the pews at a local church for a town meeting. Some wore t-shirts with the slogan "Washington Strong." Linda and Jim Deaton say that just before the winter tornado destroyed their home, they scooped up...

All throughout the country, supporters of the Affordable Care Act have worked to reach the uninsured, holding health fairs and putting ads on TV and radio. The push continues to get as many enrolled as possible, especially Latinos — the most uninsured group in the country. Illinois has taken its show on the road with its Road 2 Coverage statewide mobile tour. In Chicago, Jose Munoz points to Road 2 Coverage's huge RV plastered with the Illinois marketplace slogan — "Get Covered Illinois" —...

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