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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Code Switch
2:30 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Coping While Black: A Season Of Traumatic News Takes A Psychological Toll

Raymond Smith of Charleston, S.C., kneels in prayer in front of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston before a worship service on June 21.
Stephen B. Morton AP

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 6:12 pm

Can racism cause post-traumatic stress? That's one big question psychologists are trying to answer, particularly in the aftermath of the shooting at the historically black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., and the recent incidents involving police where race was a factor.

What's clear is that many black Americans experience what psychologists call "race-based trauma," says Monnica Williams, director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville.

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U.S.
3:11 pm
Sun June 21, 2015

In Charleston, A Day Of Faith And Recovery

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 4:18 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Performing Arts
2:05 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

'The Projects' Explores The Evolution Of Chicago's Public Housing System

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 4:53 pm

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U.S.
3:22 pm
Sun June 7, 2015

Former House Speaker Hastert To Appear In Federal Court On Tuesday

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 5:29 pm

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Law
4:09 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Hastert Indictment Concerns Ex-Speaker's Time Before Congress, Reports Say

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 4:20 pm

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Politics
2:34 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Chicago Wins Bid For Obama Presidential Library

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 5:22 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

U.S.
2:31 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

From Oakland To Baltimore, Lessons Learned From Cities Of Unrest

Public memorials, like the one at the scene where Freddie Gray was arrested, have become sites to commemorate other deaths of unarmed black men in similar police encounters across the country.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 4:07 pm

The images from Baltimore of demonstrations, police in riot gear, looting and outbreaks of violence are familiar to some other cities after encounters with police ended in death for unarmed individuals — primarily black men.

Officials say what comes from those tragic encounters can be important lessons about policing and moving forward.

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Race
2:21 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Ferguson Activists Hope That Momentum Sparks A National Movement

Ferguson activists march through downtown St. Louis during a protest last month.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 10:21 am

Since August, several U.S cities have been at the center of protests about policing and race. Activists in Ferguson, Mo., demonstrated for months in the aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown, a black, unarmed 18-year-old killed by a white police officer last summer. They also have demanded resignations and pushed for new laws in what organizers say is the start of a national movement for justice.

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Law
12:12 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Ferguson Police Begin Reform Following DOJ Report, Mayor Says

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 12:19 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Around the Nation
2:16 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Chicago's Historic Pullman District Becomes National Monument

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 6:13 pm

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Politics
3:04 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Pre-Election, Chicago Mayor Emanuel Loses African-American Support

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 5:58 am

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Sports
2:35 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Chicago Little League Team Stripped Of U.S. Championship

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 4:27 pm

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Around the Nation
1:51 am
Thu February 5, 2015

A Chicago Community Puts Mixed-Income Housing To The Test

A resident of Lathrop Homes leaves one of the few occupied buildings in the development. The city wants to redevelop the public housing as mixed use, and offered vouchers to encourage residents to relocate.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 12:38 pm

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.

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Environment
12:39 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Road Salt Contributes To Toxic Chemical Levels In Streams

Salt is unloaded at a maintenance yard in Scio Township, Mich., in September.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 8:05 am

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.

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Race
3:01 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 5:02 am

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Race
5:55 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 1:52 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.

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Around the Nation
2:53 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 9:18 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.

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Around the Nation
2:31 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

In Missouri, A Tale Of Two Fergusons

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 4:35 pm

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

A Closer Look At Sexual Assaults On Campus
1:27 am
Mon September 29, 2014

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

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 5:17 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.

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Around the Nation
2:31 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 Wed March 25, 2015 2:53 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.

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Around the Nation
3:07 pm
Sat August 16, 2014

To Combat Looting In Ferguson, Mo. Governor Institutes Curfew

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:39 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Law
2:57 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Ferguson Officer's Motives In Police Shooting Remain Murky

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 6:02 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
3:05 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 4:35 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
3:05 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 3:42 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.

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U.S.
5:39 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 2:44 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.

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Around the Nation
2:08 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Faced With Undocumented Minors, Iowa Is Wrenched By Stark Divide

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:36 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.

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Around the Nation
2:23 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

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

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:56 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)

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U.S.
1:18 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 11:14 am

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.

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Men In America
2:00 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 4:27 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.

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Environment
1:21 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 1:19 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.

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