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.

Pages

Race
4:18 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Even Under Obama, Black Activist Says Every Inch Of Progress Is A Fight

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 6:02 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Around the Nation
4:10 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Grand Jury Decision Apparently Imminent In Ferguson, Mo.

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 9:15 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Race
6:55 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Ferguson Braces For Grand Jury Decision

Some businesses in Ferguson have boarded up their windows in anticipation of the grand jury announcement whether to criminally charge Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 2:52 pm

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.

Read more
Music News
3:27 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Joyful Opera Performed In Nazi Concentration Camp Revived In Chicago

Ela Stein Weissberger joins the cast of Brundibár for a final song.
Cheryl Corley

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 6:53 pm

Brundibár, a children's opera that premiered during World War II, became both a symbol of hope and resistance and a Nazi propaganda tool. Now, Petite Opera, a small company in suburban Chicago, is reprising the opera, originally performed by Jewish children held in a concentration camp in occupied Czechoslovakia.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:16 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Chicago Residents Call For More Transparency In City Housing Authority

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 12:17 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Around the Nation
3:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

With Ferguson Protests, 20-Somethings Become First-Time Activists

Dontey Carter (from left), Mel Moffitt, Lenard Smith, Ned Alexander and Allen Frazier are all members of the Lost Voices group, formed after Michael Brown's death in August. They say they want to ensure justice for Michael Brown and other unarmed individuals killed by police officers.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 10:18 am

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.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:31 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

In Missouri, A Tale Of Two Fergusons

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 5:35 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
3:29 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

In Chicago, A Long Farewell To Famed 'Hot Dougs'

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 5:17 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
A Closer Look At Sexual Assaults On Campus
2:27 am
Mon September 29, 2014

HBCUs Move To Address Campus Sexual Assaults, But Is It Enough?

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 6:17 am

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.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Sending A Message About Drug Use With A Fake Graveyard

Faux tombstones line a lawn in Medinah, Ill. It's a campaign to heighten awareness about an epidemic of heroin and pain pill overdoses — a prelude to International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 7:09 pm

In the suburbs of Chicago, a stark reminder of the toll of heroin and prescription-pill addiction is making the rounds as a lawn exhibit. One hundred fake tombstones and banners are set up at a new location every week as a precursor to International Overdose Awareness Day.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:07 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

To Combat Looting In Ferguson, Mo. Governor Institutes Curfew

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 5:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Law
3:57 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Ferguson Officer's Motives In Police Shooting Remain Murky

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 7:02 pm

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.

Around the Nation
3:43 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Ferguson Braces For New Night Of Clashes, As Leaders Call For Peace

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 5:35 pm

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.

Code Switch
4:41 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

At 73, Man Finally Gets Diploma Denied For Defying Segregation

Alva Earley shows off his diploma after receiving it from Galesburg Superintendent Bart Arthur.
Evan Temchin Knox College

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 4:42 pm

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.

Read more
U.S.
6:39 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Iowa Mayor Calls For 'Caring Cities' To Take In Young Immigrants

Bill Gluba, the mayor of Davenport, is trying to find appropriate sites that could serve as shelters for Central American minors.
pioneer98 Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 3:44 pm

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.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:08 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Faced With Undocumented Minors, Iowa Is Wrenched By Stark Divide

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 9:36 pm

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.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:23 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

A Red July 4th Weekend Leaves Dozens Of Casualties In Chicago

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 6:56 pm

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 ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Read more
U.S.
2:18 am
Mon July 7, 2014

A Presidential Contest ... For Obama's Library

This undated file photo released by Obama for America shows Barack Obama teaching at the University of Chicago Law School in Chicago, where he was a faculty member for more than a decade. The university is contending for his presidential library.
AP

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 12:14 pm

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.

Read more
Men In America
3:00 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Chicago Students Enroll As Boys, And Graduate As College-Bound Men

In one of the waiting rooms of the Chicago Civic Opera House, Urban Prep graduates dance and let off some steam before the school's commencement ceremony begins.
Cheryl Corley/NPR

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 5:27 pm

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.

Read more
Law
4:09 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Some Home Care Workers May Avoid Bargaining Fees, Court Rules

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 1:24 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's turn now to NPR's Cheryl Corley in Chicago. She's been listening to a reaction to the Supreme Court ruling that non-union home healthcare workers no longer have to pay union fees.

Read more
Environment
2:21 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Why Those Tiny Microbeads In Soap May Pose Problem For Great Lakes

Researcher Sherri Mason looks for microbeads in a water sample from Lake Michigan. Legislation to phase out products containing the beads is pending in New York and Illinois.
Cheryl Corley

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 2:19 pm

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.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:05 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Across The U.S., Bicycle Commuting Picks Up Speed

The ranks of bicycle commuters are growing, though men are almost three times more likely than women to ride to work.
Tobias Ackeborn iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 9:55 am

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.

Read more
Law
3:24 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

New York And Chicago Bring E-Cigs Under Umbrella Of Tobacco Laws

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:05 pm

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 that are manufactured there.

Read more
U.S.
3:31 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Subminimum Wages For The Disabled: Godsend Or Exploitation?

Workers shrink-wrap products at the Sertoma Centre outside Chicago. Sertoma provides employment opportunities to about 250 people with disabilities through subcontracting jobs.
Courtesy of Sertoma Centre

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 4:37 pm

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.

Read more
U.S.
2:49 am
Wed April 9, 2014

States, Lawmakers Want Feds To Use New Math For FEMA Calculations

About 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by a tornado in Washington, Ill., last November. Some senators are pushing for a better disaster formula for communities to get financial help.
Tasos Katopodis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 7:02 am

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.

Read more
Health Care
11:51 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Latinos Wary Of All-Out Push To Sign Up For ACA

Planned Parenthood worker Alicia Gonzales promotes the Affordable Care Act during an outreach event for the Latino community in Los Angeles in September.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters /Landov

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.

Read more
Around the Nation
8:37 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Commuters Ditch Cars For Public Transit In Record Numbers

On a typical weekday, riders make a total of about 300,000 trips on the Chicago Metra commuter line.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:38 pm

During the morning rush at Chicago's Union Station, commuter trains pull in, the doors open and a crush of people, newspapers and coffee cups in hand, pour off like a flood.

Financial analyst Nader Kouklan says he makes the trip from the suburbs to Chicago's downtown every day.

"It's easier and just a faster way to get to work, rather than having to deal with the traffic of the morning commute," Kouklan says.

Law student Amalia Romano rides Chicago's Metra line, too.

"I take it because I don't want to pay $16 to park every day," Romano explains.

Read more
Education
3:18 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

As a Test Gets Phased Out In Chicago, Some Boycott Its Final Year

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 5:31 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's testing time in Illinois today. Hundreds of thousands of students began taking state tests in math and science but some students, parents, even teachers are refusing. At dozens of schools in Chicago, they're staging a boycott, saying the tests don't matter. As NPR's Cheryl Corley reports, it's part of a growing national debate over measuring student performance.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Boycott the ISAT. Let things be. Boycott the ISAT.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:49 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Flagging Down Taxi Drivers To Sign Up For Obamacare

Yuvania Maldonado, a counselor for President Obama's health care law, speaks with Chicago taxi driver Mohammad Chaudri at a city office where taxi drivers go to renew their license.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 7:04 am

Dan Ware has been driving a taxicab in Chicago for more than a decade, but he still doesn't have what many jobs offer: health insurance.

"I'm without health coverage," he says.

And that's not unusual, says Chicago Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair. "What we know in Chicago is that around 70 percent of taxi drivers are uninsured," Choucair says.

Read more
Education
3:29 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Holidays For Kids Mean Headaches For Administrators

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 7:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

School districts typically build emergency days into their calendars in case of bad weather. But this winter's relentless snow and bitter cold have some schools reeling. Now, administrators are scrambling to find creative ways to make up for lost time, even as they prepare for more severe weather. NPR's Cheryl Corley has that story.

CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: What's the most crucial factor when it comes to schools these days? Not tests or transportation or even grades. It's likely this...

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS REPORT)

Read more

Pages