Joy Diaz | KERA News

Joy Diaz

Joy Diaz has been a reporter with KUT on and off since 2005. Since joining KUT, Joy has covered education, healthcare and immigration. She is now a Senior Reporter covering the city beat.

Originally from Mexico, Joy moved to the U.S. in 1998 when her husband Luis was transferred from his job in Mexico City to train workers in a telecommunications plant in Virginia. While there, Joy worked for Roanoke's 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.  

From Texas Standard:

The first few days of the school year are an anxious time for most kids. But there’s a group whose levels of stress and anxiety are so high that they can only be compared to those who have experienced trauma.

Silvia Zuvieta Rodriguez is one of them.

“Since I was little I always had anxiety when it came to my parents not coming home at a certain time,” she says.

From Texas Standard:

Senate Bill 4, known as the “show me your papers” law to its opponents, currently faces a challenge in a San Antonio federal court. If the law takes effect, police in Texas will be able to ask people they stop about their immigration status.

From Texas Standard:

The 85th legislative session focused so much on measures like the "sanctuary cities" bill and the "bathroom" bill that it’s easy to forget that much of the initial focus was supposed to be on something else.

From Texas Standard:

In late March, Cesar Duarte, the former governor of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, fled to El Paso to escape corruption allegations. Duarte is now the subject of an international arrest warrant, which was filed by his successor, current Governor Javier Corral.

From Texas Standard:

Pain is one of those things that is hard to wrap your head around - it's hard to measure, it varies according to your age and health condition. And pain and what we know about pain – particularly chronic pain – also varies by race.

From Texas Standard:

Remember the Takata airbag scandal? The company’s actions – though they took lives – were not criminal; Takata’s offenses were civil. Nobody went to jail. But the company was fined $1 billion.

 

From Texas Standard:

Undocumented immigrants in the United States are paying close attention to the deportation policies of the Trump administration. More and more it appears that those who have committed crimes are not the only ones who are a priority for removal.

From Texas Standard:

Mexico’s election season is right around the corner and two candidates are already leading in the polls. It looks likely that leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico’s MORENA party and conservative candidate Margarita Zavala Gómez del Campo of PAN will face off in July 2018.

A Spanish-language version of this post is available on Texas Standard:

In his inaugural address last month, President Trump called for Americans to focus inwardly – his “America First" movement. But in response, Mexico has come up with its own cry: "Hecho en Mexico” (Made in Mexico).

Public radio stations from across the state collaborated on this series looking at the death penalty in Texas – its history, how it’s changed, whom it affects and its future. From Texas Standard:

Death row inmates often spend decades between the day they're sentenced and the day they're executed. That can be due to many factors – from lengthy appeals to the state being unable to get the drugs it needs to carry out executions.

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?

 


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.

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. 

 


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."

 


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.

 


Daria Vera has never forgotten that brutally hot summer in 1966.

She goes to the back room of her tiny Texas home and comes back holding a box of pictures.

"This is my daughter," Vera says in Spanish, pointing to a girl in one photograph. "She was so little — probably 2 years old — always with us, even during the strike."

In 1966, Vera was only 20. Both she and her husband picked onions and cantaloupes for a living, with their child by their side.

From Texas Standard:

This is part one of a three-part series looking at farm workers in Texas.

Fifty years ago, farm workers in Texas walked off their jobs to protest their low pay and terrible working conditions. And in the searing summer heat of 1966, they staged a historic march across the state. Many were beaten and arrested, but most history books have overlooked it. Now, some of those original marchers are telling their stories.

Daria Vera has never forgotten that brutally hot summer back in 1966.


From Texas Standard:

The Standard has been following Courtney Meeks and William Welch since January. We’ve reported on their pregnancy, Baby Eve's birth, and search for housing.  

From Texas Standard:

Editor's note: This story contains language that may not be appropriate for all readers.

In Texas, the law is pretty clear when it comes to who's responsible for reporting abuse or neglect – pretty much anyone who thinks abuse or neglect is happening. Often, that person is a delivery nurse or a doctor.

From Texas Standard:

If you're a regular listener to the Standard, you may remember Courtney Meeks. She's homeless and pregnant. When we met her in January, Meeks was standing at the corner of a busy intersection in Austin asking drivers for money. Back then, she thought she was really close to giving birth.

From Texas Standard:

It's been a turbulent year for the state's Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). First there was the December court order by a federal judge in Corpus Christi – a sweeping and scathing order condemning what she called a "broken" foster care system, declaring it in violation of the Constitution and demanding a complete overhaul with a special master to be appointed to recommend fixes.

From Texas Standard:

Maybe you’ve heard Texas Rep. Pete Sessions wants magic to be recognized as an official national treasure – the proposal made headlines, many of them a little snarky. But how could magic solve some of the state’s most pressing needs?

From Texas Standard:

As a child, Kristopher Sharp never knew what love was.

"I can tell you about the first time I felt I was loved," Sharp says. "This is after I aged out of the foster care system."

Sharp was 18 when he aged out. He was living in Houston. With no job and no skills, he soon became homeless.

 


From Texas Standard:

If you were to ask me how much I pay for car insurance, I wouldn't be able to answer that. It's one of those things where once I set it, I forget it. 

But that's not so for Cristobal Garcia of Mission, Texas. He says to me in Spanish that his insurance costs $170 per month. Multiply that by 12 months and it comes out to $2,042 per year.

 


From Texas Standard:

The company that prints new voter registration cards is probably busy this time of year. There are tons of new eligible voters in 2016. Data from the 2010 Census tells us 7 million Texans were under 18 six years ago. Many of those people are now eligible to vote this time around.

From Texas Standard:

Every January for the past three decades, state and local officials have gathered in Austin to hear economist Angelos Angelou give his annual economic forecast. Some say he's conservative in his forecasts, yet lawmakers follow his words carefully because he's been proven to be on the money in the past.

From Texas Standard:

What's the most indulgent thing you've ever done for your birthday? Checked something off your bucket list? Or bought yourself something really expensive? This week, Austinite Taylor Thompson turns 17 and he’s decided to go all out on a spending spree. Normally, birthdays at the Thompsons' are low-key celebrations. The family doesn't even blow up balloons.

This year, however, Taylor Thompson will be spending $170,000 dollars to celebrate his birthday. He announced his plans over the weekend in Austin.


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.

 


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 oneA 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.

 


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