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

dcJohn/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

At a time the president-elect dismisses inappropriate comments about sexual assault as "locker-room banter", others are trying to define and teach appropriate sexual behavior. The Texas High School Coaches Association and the Texas Education Agency are teaming up in a campaign they're calling "Starting the Conversation" to address issues surrounding consent.

Skyblueseed/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Breast milk trades for between $2 and $6 an ounce on websites like OnlytheBreast and on Craigslist. It turns out, while breast milk is free to some babies, it doesn't come cheap and it's hard to preserve.

So why is breast milk so expensive? Breast milk does not come from enormous dairy farms.

MellieRene4/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

This is part three of a series on “suicide by cop.” What does it mean? Who are the victims? Why is this happening? 

On New Year’s Day 2015, Marisela Martinez walked into the Hidalgo County Jail swinging what was later determined to be a BB pistol. She said she just committed a robbery at a nearby bail bonds business and she'd shoot anyone who came near. People in the waiting room ran for safety. Officers arrived on the scene. The woman screamed: "Shoot me! Shoot me!"

The case looks like the textbook scenario of someone attempting "suicide by cop” – instances which are happening more and more frequently. But are incidents like this, in fact, on the rise? Or are we simply more plugged in and therefore hearing more about them? 

 


Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

In October, the husband of a 26-year-old Austin woman called 911 to request help for her from a mental health officer. A few hours later, she was dead.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

When it comes to the electoral college, Texas is like most states: winner-take-all (only two states, Nebraska and Maine, aren't). So we're red and, if Democrats' dreams came true, we'd someday be blue.

Wendy Davis, a former gubernatorial candidate and former state senator from Dallas-Fort Worth, says she sees a possibility of a change in hue.

 


Scurzuzu/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas leads the nation in payday lending and car title loan businesses with more than 3,000 storefronts across the state. Payday lenders are both a blessing and a curse: on one hand, they meet a need; on the other, they do so through sky-high interest rates.

That's why communities of faith are getting involved in the effort to better regulate them. But should faith leaders get involved in money matters?

 


Beth Cortez-Neavel/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

With one week until Election Day, one of the country's most well-known Texans has a suggestion for the rest of the country: start thinking about the day after.

Veteran broadcast journalist Dan Rather, whose documentary debuts tonight on Mark Cuban's AXS network, poses a quandary: even assuming a Clinton victory, why should Americans of all stripes continue to care about the Trump phenomenon?

 


Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Texas has the second-largest Latino population of any state, after California – 40 percent. The state also has more Latino elected officials than any other states.

Courtesy Cinco Puntos Press

From Texas Standard:

When a major publisher taps you on the shoulder, that's a big step for an author. When a school district adopts your books as recommended reading, that's big too. But when kids start asking for your books by name, you're onto something.

Joy Diaz

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Standard explores what it means to be American as part of the NPR series "A Nation Engaged."

I'm the first child of an American father and a Mexican mother. I was born an American – but in Mexico.

Growing up, I rarely visited my American grandparents in New York City. So, culturally, every connection I had was to Mexico.

Courtesy Ballet Austin

From Texas Standard:

Few parents put pen to paper to figure out how much they'll spend if their kids end up loving the activity they started at age three. For example, by the time your adorable toddler girl – who’s in love with ballet – graduates high school you will have spent as much as $100,000 on fees, tutus and training. That's according to an estimate by Dance USA.

If your daughter goes pro – her training could be as expensive as a doctor's. But ballet is not just for girls. Boys spend much less on a lifetime of ballet training.

 


Nate Lampa/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas began a strategic plan to reform the foster care system in 2014, but the overhaul is still in the early stages of rollout. The plan has been moving forward without much fanfare, at a time when Child Protective Services is taking a lot of heat for some high-profile tragedies.

The biggest change is a shift away from investigation efforts – the CPS worker who comes knocking on the door asking questions – to a public heath approach aimed at strengthening families and reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities.

The plan puts a heavy emphasis on the staggering cost of child abuse and the need to be smarter about resources – to use big data as never before. 

 


Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

The Texas foster care system is not perfect. We’ve all heard stories about children bouncing around from one foster placement to another, or kids who are in and out of the system – as if going through a revolving door.

But that’s not the intent. Marissa Gonzalez is a spokesperson for Child Protective Services.

"When a child first comes into foster care, it is temporary,” she says. “The whole idea is for them to be safely reunited with their parents."

 


Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Many nights – somewhere in a Texas Child Protective Services office – there's a child sleeping, tucked in somewhere among the desks and computers instead of spending the night with a family. That’s because there are not enough families in Texas registered to foster kids who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.

But the situation would be much worse for CPS without the help of these children’s extended families. Thousands of aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends around Texas volunteer to care for kids while they're in the system. CPS calls this type of care a kinship placement.

 


Texas Department of Public Safety

From Texas Standard:

For a while, we've known that human trafficking is a big problem in Texas. But a new study from D.C. advocacy group called the Polaris Project looked at nearly a decade's worth of data and found that much of human trafficking in Texas operates in illicit bars and cantinas.

My Lo Cook, director of Polaris' efforts in Mexico, says the cases in Houston center around cantinas, which researchers see as common venues for human trafficking in Southern California as well. Houston has more cases than other cities, Cook says, in part because local officials and organizations make the effort to link cases together and prosecute them.

 


Stefano Corso/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Editor's note: This story uses first names only because of an ongoing case with Child Protective Services.

Since at least the 1970s, researchers in Texas have been calling substance use a "family affair." A study by the Texas Research Institute's Drug Abuse Clinic compared two groups of families similar to each other in every aspect – from socio-economic status to ethnic background. The only difference was that one group had at least one family member who was an addict. The study found fathers dealing with drugs were critical and arrogant, mothers were disenfranchised and children were bitter and resentful.

That was in the '70s, but the story is not so different today.


João Lavinha/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

About 10 percent of the country’s homeless youth live in Texas – that means more than 100,000 young people don’t have a steady place to live. Austin and San Antonio are two of three U.S. cities participating in a 100-day challenge to reduce a systemic aspect of youth homelessness.

Terry McCombs/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

When Sam Espinosa was a kid, it took a while for Austin Independent School District to learn he was homeless.

"My mom is a fairly private person – she was never one to let anyone else into,  you know, what we were going through," Espinosa says.

So, Sam and his five siblings became fairly good at pretending they had a place to live.

 


Courtesy AFL-CIO

This is part two of a two-part series looking at the historical 1966 farm workers strike in Texas. From Texas Standard:

Our collective dictionary for the concept of civil rights, historically speaking, includes heroes such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. It includes iconography like the white signs held by striking Memphis sanitation workers, proclaiming "I am a man" in bold capital letters. It includes songs, like "We shall overcome."

Pages