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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: For more than seven months, there's been a budget impasse in Illinois, and there's no sign of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic lawmakers coming to terms. Today, in his State of the State address, Rauner called for serious negotiation, but made little mention of the state's financial crisis. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports. CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Education, criminal justice reforms and other...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: We're also tracking a different sort of crisis in the state of Illinois. It has the dubious distinction of having the worst-funded pensions and lowest credit rating of any state. And a seven-month-long standoff between the Republican governor and Democratic legislature is not helping. There is no budget for the state of Illinois. And today the governor delivers his State of the State address. NPR's...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: From crumbling infrastructure to community policing, many of the nation's toughest challenges confront the country's mayors. And many of them are in Washington at the U.S. Conference of Mayors. As they focused on public safety today, there was a surprise. Protesters called for one of them to resign. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports. CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Surrounded by her colleagues, Baltimore mayor...

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...

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...

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