About

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Photo: Lucio Villa

“I’d rather write than burn.” – Tasha Keeble

My name is Joanna, but I go by Joa. I’m a Freelance Journalist, poet and hopeless romantic. Born and raised in Southern California and in my beloved Zacatecas, México.

You can find my work, mostly in Spanish, in La Opinión, Excélsior California, El Nuevo Sol, The Sundial and more recently We Are Bold Latina. I focus primarily on immigration and education issues that affect the Latinx community of Southern California. Since my arrival to San Diego I have also taken on gentrification stories.

I am in the process of obtaining my MA in Social Innovation from the University of San Diego, under which I’m focusing on creating a platform that will deliver socially conscious journalism utilizing the methods taught by the Solutions Journalism Network. I am also studying the innovative efforts being launched to diversify newsrooms across the US. Call me old-fashioned: I still believe in the written word and how it can change lives. However, this can only be achieved when the person telling the story is able to connect with the individuals and communities that are being portrayed.

Click here to learn more about diversity in US newsrooms.

What is Social Innovation, you ask? Click here to find out more.

I currently serve on the board of the local San Diego-Tijuana NAHJ Chapter as treasurer, where we look to empower Latinx students who are hopeful in making an impact in this ever-evolving and struggling industry. Young journalists of color, such as the ones we serve, and the many obstacles they face in order to obtain full time and well-paid employment post college are a key part of my research at USD.

I’ve worked as a digital editor and reporter for La Opinión/impreMedia in Los Ángeles, where I also trained and mentored interns. I served as the Editor-in-Chief at El Nuevo Sol, the bilingual student blog at Cal State Northridge, where I also obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. I’ve produced documentaries ranging from Afro-Mexicans, Mexican refugees and hospice care in the Latino community. And, I’m a tad obsessed with infographics. Just a tad.

When I’m not writing or researching for my next story, I’m curled up on my couch with pen and notebook in hand (total poetry nerd). I’m also in the process of writing my first book, an ode to mi mamá. I read everything and anything and allow my mother to spoil me with her mole and non-stop blessings.

Have a story idea? Contact me