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.

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From Texas Standard:

This story involves sensitive material that may upset some readers.

On Thursday Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will publicly announce the state's new human trafficking unit, with Kirsta Melton at the helm. Melton has been working on human trafficking cases since 2009.

She says she’ll never forget her first case, which involved a 13-year-old girl.


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From Texas Standard:

The last time a Walmart opened in Austin was six years ago. It opened, but not without a massive fight that lasted years.

Hope Morrison was one of hundreds who testified against Walmart and Lincoln properties – the developer in the deal. She spoke before the Austin City Council in 2006.


Image via Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

The average American family will spend $900 this holiday season. If you are among the lucky 22 percent of Americans who will get a bonus this season – that's probably what you'll use. The majority of us in situations like these that require extra cash look for alternatives.

Perhaps you've seen commercials like this one: A camera zooms in and out shooting some pretty nice trucks and cars. Vehicle owners point to bumper stickers that reflect their personalities. The images in the commercial may vary but the message is the same: if you own your car, borrow money from us. Just let us keep your car title as security.


Image Courtesy via Linda Gonzalez and Henry Christopher ZH

From Texas Standard:

Dripping Springs has called itself the "Wedding Capital of Texas." But what does that really mean when there are more single adults in the United States than married ones? Moreover, what does it mean when the state is in the middle of a wedding bust?

Image via Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Satsuki Ina is furious that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services would even consider the possibility of licensing immigrant family detention facilities as childcare centers.

"It's like putting lipstick on a pig," she says.



Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

When Lammes Candies started operating in Austin 130 years ago, the Texas State Capitol wasn’t even built.

When the founder of the company, William Wirt Lamme was born, Stephen F. Austin – the so-called father of Texas – was still alive. Generations later, Lamme’s great-great-grandson Bryan Teich co-owns the candy company, along with his sisters.

Image via Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Just a month ago, service providers in Texas were gearing up to receive some of the estimated 10,000 Syrian refugees scheduled to arrive in the United States in 2016. Last month's terrorist attacks in Paris raised caution flags for many state governors, including Gov. Greg Abbott.

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From Texas Standard:

The Texas Constitution says there's no religious test for office holders – provided that "he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme being."

So much for prohibitions on religious tests – not to mention female candidates.

The "supreme being" clause went unchallenged for years, until three decades ago. It was then Texas' Attorney General agreed there's no way to enforce any real or imagined constitutional ban on atheist office-holders.


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From Texas Standard: 

Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec is a small indigenous town in the mountains of Oaxaca. The 3,500 people who call it home speak Mixe. Few speak Spanish. But despite its remote location, the town is famous for two things. Everyone there seems to play a musical instrument – they even have a traveling orchestra. But primarily, the town is known for its embroideries.

Image via Flickr/DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Big time Hollywood actors like Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda and Antonio Banderas, have immortalized some of the stories of the Mexican Revolution.

As the story's been told for generations, the Mexican people were impoverished by the extravagant lifestyle of president Porfirio Diaz (no relation to yours truly) whose dream was to pave Mexico City in marble. Out of that circumstance, came a need for a "Robin Hood."


Image via Texas Tribune/Michael Stravato

From Texas Standard:

Jasmine Johnson, a 20-year-old expectant mother, gave birth in January. She didn't just bring home a baby girl after her visit to the hospital – she also brought home a $1,500 medical bill she couldn’t afford.

Image via Beth Cortez-Neavel/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

The morning routine of Kai Alterman includes a stop at a café and a cab ride. When it comes time for her to pay,  the server slides her credit card, then hands her a screen similar to an iPad to sign – complete with choices of how much to tip. Alterman hits the middle option, leaving a 20 percent tip.

"I think this makes people tip more often, because you feel more guilty not to tip with those," Alterman says.


Image credit Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Part of the mission at Dress for Success is to help women achieve financial independence. That includes women veterans. A higher percentage of female vets are unemployed than male vets.

"I have an interview this afternoon," Julia Hill says.


Image courtesy Deborah Cannon

From Texas Standard:

Most adoptions are about children finding their "forever homes," or their permanent families. Other adoption proceedings are for parents who want to make sure their kid remains a part of their family, as is the case for many same-sex parents.

Image via Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

From Texas Standard:

There have been a lot of non-Texans talking about the southern border lately. Presidential hopefuls, public officials and others seem to all have opinions on what's wrong with border security and how to fix it.

Take, for instance, talk-show host Sean Hannity. "[We need] virtual fences, virtual surveillance – impenetrable border," he says.


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From Texas Standard

The healthcare marketplace is open once again, but if you look closely at the offered insurance plans you might find something lacking: coverage for specialized treatments.

Image via Flickr/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

The world is in the midst of the largest displacement of human beings since World War II. The images of the people leaving their country in makeshift rafts are the images of Syrians.

Not too long ago, it was Cubans who were braving the ocean. Not anymore.


Image via Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Call it a commingling of the sacred and a spectacle.

Halloween "Texas style" starts Friday and goes through Monday with Día de los Muertos and All Souls Day in between.

Image via Flickr/Johannes Jander (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Yesterday, a new undercover video was released by the anti-abortion group targeting Planned Parenthood. Shot in Austin, the video shows a doctor describing methods used to perform later-term abortions.

Image via Beth Cortez-NeavelTexas Standard

From Texas Standard:

The term "alien" is used to describe many things.

It's the monster that claws its way out of bodies in the Sigourney Weaver franchise. It's the odd-looking form with almond shaped eyes which trolls trailer parks, probing unsuspecting earthlings. One of them allegedly piloted a craft that crash-landed in Roswell, N.M. Maybe an alien will soon may ring your doorbell, shouting "trick-or-treat."

The word "alien" has many uses, but Rep. Joaquín Castro says the word has no business in the official language of the United States. He's calling for the word to be banned because he says it is dehumanizing.