Joy Diaz

Producer, Texas Standard

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.
Originally from Mexico, Joy moved to the U.S. in 1998 when her husband Luis was transferred from his job in Mexico City to Virginia. While there, Joy worked for Roanoke NPR station WVTF.

Joy speaks English and Spanish (which is a plus in a state like Texas). She graduated from Universidad de Cuautitlán Izcalli in Mexico City with a degree in Journalism. In 2008 she took a break to devote herself to her two young children, before returning to the KUT studios. She loves reading, painting and spending time engaging with the community.

Ways to Connect

Larry D. Moore/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

The nonprofit Circle of Blue recently launched its reporting project “Water, Texas,” a series about the challenges Texas faces in managing its most vital natural resource.

The organization’s senior editor and chief correspondent, Keith Schneider, told Texas Standard that his reporting in “Water, Texas,” focused on the tension between Texas' economic and environmental interests.

Wendy Rigby/Texas Public Radio

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs credits early preventive measures at its 170 medical facilities for keeping more beds available for civilian COVID-19 patients in Texas and nationwide.

“We were the first ones to take dramatic steps,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie told Texas Standard in an interview that aired on Thursday. “We stopped elective surgeries. We stopped visitors and family from coming into the hospitals.”

Air Force One/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Last week, President Donald Trump tweeted that he would temporarily suspend immigration to the United States to protect a struggling American workforce in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. He followed up with a presidential proclamation two days later.

Courtesy Anne Bennett

From Texas Standard:

For new parent Tracy Franklin Squires, her first take on motherhood echoed that of most moms, during this time of isolation because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I have an infant at home,” Franklin Squires said. “So, I’m terrified.”

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard:

As millions of Americans face unemployment and hard economic times because of the coronavirus pandemic, being smart about finances is more important than ever. Many will receive one-time stimulus checks, but that's only a small part of a person's or family's equation for making ends meet.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

From Texas Standard:

Editor's note: Between the reporting and airing of this story, Austin Resource Recovery's director, Ken Snipes, told the Texas Standard that masks are now provided for employees.

Interstate 35 is a vital transportation artery cutting across Texas, south to north. It stretches from Mexico, through Dallas and eventually ends up in Canada. The highway is essential for keeping goods flowing between the three largest countries in North America – everything from produce to medical equipment is trucked along it. And it's especially important during the pandemic as people are more aware of the vulnerability of the supply chain.

NASA Johnson/Flickr (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Being confined and socially distanced from others during the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult for many people. But it may help to know that some have lived in quasi-isolation successfully, and even managed to learn valuable lessons from the experience.

Courtesy of Paula Requeijo and Aaron Rochlen

From Texas Standard:

For Dr. Paula Requeijo, the coronavirus pandemic is both a personal and a professional concern of hers. She is chief medical officer for Elite Patient Care, a company that provides long-term health care, mostly for elderly patients. Also, her sister lives in Lake Como, Italy, one of the areas hardest hit by COVID-19.

Flickr/Kent Kanouse (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Many Texas institutions and places of culture and learning are closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – that includes museums. But some are finding ways to connect with the public even if people can't attend in person.

Alex Freeman is executive director of the Texas Association of Museums, and he says museums are offering a variety of options during the closures, ranging from educational packets for pick up to crowdsourced online photo collections.

Courtesy of Yuri Ramirez

From Texas Standard:

Our tools to combat a virus that has spread worldwide are simple. We’ve been told to wash our hands, don’t touch our faces and practice “social isolation.”

That last one seems easy but it can be difficult to achieve, especially if you come from a culture that demands hugs or kisses as part of greetings. And when that contact is not provided, it may be taken as a sign of disrespect.

Courtesy of Falls on the Colorado Museum

From Texas Standard:

Before Texas women could vote, Texas men elected a female mayor.

Published with permission by Sopitas

From Texas Standard:

On Sunday, thousands of women protested in the streets of Mexico City, demanding a stop to the growing problem of femicide in Mexico. Femicide – the killing of a woman because of her gender – is also a hate crime. According to some estimates, the demonstration on Sunday, which coincided with International Women's Day, was one of the largest of its kind in Mexico's history.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard:

The days when Democratic presidential hopefuls would think of Texas solely as their ATM – a place to raise money – are over. These days, candidates are actually campaigning in the Lone Star State, vying for Texas’ 228 delegates. And, since candidates are meeting voters face-to-face, it would be good for them to learn as much as they can about who lives here.

Gage Skidmor/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA)

From Texas Standard:

Businessman Tom Steyer is among the eight remaining candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. With early voting beginning Feb. 18 in Texas, Steyer is turning his attention to the Lone Star State, and to the other states with Super Tuesday primaries on March 3.

John Bauld and Georges Biard/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

Across traditional and social media, there's been a mixture of celebration and criticism following Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show. Some have called Jennifer Lopez's – also known as J-Lo – and Shakira's performance a dazzling spectacle, while others deemed it inappropriate for its skin-bearing costumes, seductive dance moves and political overtones.

Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Up until now, the story of family separation has been the story of immigrant parents who are apprehended at the U.S. border and detained in facilities separate from where their children are kept.

But there is another ongoing story of family separation that affects American children, like the story of the Angel family of Central Texas.

Courtesy Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción

From Texas Standard:

The Rio Grande, or the Rio Bravo as it's known south of the border, is a natural divider between the United States and Mexico. It's also an important shared natural resource. But a recent investigation by the nonprofit journalism organization Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad found that some in Mexico might not be using that and other water resources the way they were intended.

Courtesy El Nuevo Día newspaper

From Texas Standard:

The massive exodus of Puerto Ricans heading to the mainland started in 2006 with the island’s recession. Then came the government’s debt crisis of 2014 and more people left. After hurricanes Maria and Irma, people also left in droves to the point that the Pew Research Center released a study in 2018 saying the island's population had reached a 40-year low.

Mike Fisher/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, is well-known for its fight against President Donald Trump's border wall. The government had planned to build the wall along the habitat, which is a sensitive space for butterflies that are important pollinators. But that's not the only environmentally sensitive area along the border that could be affected by wall construction.

Michael Minasi/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Like few other Texans in recent years, one former El Paso congressman is known to many by his first name alone. But that extraordinary name recognition, and even an unexpectedly close Senate race against Ted Cruz in 2018, wasn't enough to propel Beto O'Rourke to the Democratic presidential nomination. Now, O'Rourke is focused on getting more Democrats elected in Texas.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

A new Harvard University study on the state of the nation’s housing found that rapidly escalating land prices make construction of low-cost housing a challenge for many cities. Land prices have increased dramatically in Central Texas in recent years, making it difficult for nonprofits to provide affordable housing to low-income families.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

“Out of sight, out of mind.” That’s how the saying goes. And it’s exactly the way wildflowers are right now, for most Texans. But the flowers that beautify state roadsides each spring are not out of mind for the team that makes it happen.

Meet Forrest Smith, with Texas A&M-Kingsville. His research team has put in “decades of work” in search of the perfect seeds for the different climates and soils we have in Texas.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

From Texas Standard:

Travis County named a building in Southeast Austin after Ray Martinez in 2004, but the inclusion of the former Austin police officer's name on the facade didn't tell the whole story. Now, the county is honoring Martinez – and telling his whole story – with a new historical plaque.

Sandra Dahdah

From Texas Standard:

Water nourishes us. But it also forms borders between geographic regions, and has even become responsible for migration, as individuals and families make decisions about where to live based on the availability of this critical resource. In Texas Standard's series, "Drop by Drop," reporter Joy Diaz set out to learn how water affects politics, migration, the environment and economics. Diaz says she was motivated to produce the series by the growing importance of water in cross-border issues.

Charlotte Carpenter/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Department of Public Safety – the agency that issues driver's licenses and patrols state highways – will start battling white supremacy as part of its duties. This comes after the mass shooting in El Paso on Aug. 3 when 22 people died. But how equipped are state police agencies to deal with so-called domestic terrorism?

Jeff Gruenewald is an associate professor at the University of Arkansas' Sociology and Criminology Department, and director of the Terrorism Research Center there. He says calling shooters like the one in El Paso “domestic terrorists” is a newer phenomenon in law enforcement, but terrorism researchers like himself have been using that phrase for longer.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Three named plaintiffs launched a class action lawsuit last year against the City of Austin, Travis County and several local officials, claiming they failed to adequately investigate and prosecute their sexual assault cases.

Stephanie Tacy/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Texas news outlets often report on death penalty stories, given that the state leads the nation in prisoner executions. But rarely do reports tell the stories of women on death row. Those women are housed in a prison in Gatesville, and as I wait for the guards to bring over inmate Linda Carty, I notice the room is very different from the crammed spaces where I’ve interviewed men on death row. There’s still glass separating us, but this room is spacious and well-lit.

BBC World Service/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Pew Research Center recently published a report showing how a majority of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. live in one of 20 metropolitan areas. But there was another statistic within the report that was important in its own right: The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has gone down over the last decade. As of 2016, Pew estimates there were about 10.7 million, compared to about 12.2 million in 2007.

Mark Hugo Lopez is director of global migration and demography at Pew Research, and says there's been a large decline in unauthorized immigrants from Mexico, in particular. At the same time, there's been an increase of unauthorized immigrants from other countries, whom Lopez says have most likely overstayed their visas.

Ida Ten Eyck O'Keeffe, Creation, date unknown, oil on canvas, Gerald Peters Gallery

From Texas Standard:

The name Georgia O'Keeffe probably brings to mind images of giant, brightly-colored flowers, or the artist's famous skulls, sunsets or the Southwest. Many people don't realize that Georgia's sister was also an artist in her own right. But that's changing, thanks to an exhibition of Ida O'Keeffe's work at the Dallas Museum of Art It's called "Ida O'Keeffe: Escaping Georgia's Shadow."

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