Glenn Loury
The Glenn Show
Corey Brooks – Changing Black Lives on the South Side of Chicago

Corey Brooks – Changing Black Lives on the South Side of Chicago


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My guest this week is Pastor Corey Brooks of the New Beginnings Church on the South Side of Chicago. I’ve wanted to have Corey on the show for some time—the work he’s doing to minister to the neighborhood where I was born has inspired me for years. We often criticize progressive policies like DEI on this show, but Corey’s work is even more important than that. He’s building institutions and programs that can actually help struggling black folks become successful and self-reliant. After you watch this episode, be sure to check out his Tablet magazine piece, “America Works. DEI Doesn’t” to see how he’s changing lives for the better.

It may seem odd that a pastor is weighing in on the Claudine Gay controversy, but Corey explains why the focus on DEI does nothing for the black people who most need help. According to Corey, other progressive policies, like opposition to the police and declaring Chicago a “sanctuary city” for undocumented immigrants, do more harm than good for black Chicagoans. But Chicago is a progressive city, and Corey relies on tens of thousands of donations from outside the state to get his initiatives off the ground. In fact, getting the funding he needed was initially so difficult that he spent 94 days in a row (in the winter, in Chicago) on his church’s roof to publicize and raise money for a new community center. And when that community center opens, you can bet you’ll see me there to celebrate the occasion.

I’ve been looking for an opportunity to have Pastor Brooks on the show for some time. Hopefully this will be the first appearance of many.

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0:00 Why Corey weighed in on the Claudine Gay controversy

3:50 Corey: DEI doesn’t offer anything to those on the fringes of society

10:16 Black opposition to Chicago’s “sanctuary city” status

18:29 Why Corey supports the police

21:47 Support for New Beginnings from outside Chicago

23:25 The Rooftop Pastor

25:00 Corey’s embrace of conservatism

29:56 Project HOOD

33:04 Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s closure of test schools

37:02 Class differences within the black community

Recorded January 31, 2024

Links and Readings

New Beginnings Church

Project HOOD

Corey’s Tablet piece, “America Works. DEI Doesn’t.”

Inc covers the Elon Musk-Mark Cuban DEI exchange


Glenn Loury
The Glenn Show
Race, inequality, and economics in the US and throughout the world from Glenn Loury, Professor of Economics at Brown University and Paulson Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute