Joy Powers

Lake Effect Producer

Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as a producer for Lake Effect. Before coming to Milwaukee's NPR, she was a director and producer for Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.

Joy grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where she started off her career in radio as an intern at WLKG-fm, The Lake. She has worked as an intern with several companies, including SiriusXm, Fujisankei Communications and the Department of City Planning for the City of New York. At SiriusXM, she was a programming intern and helped launch Studio54 Radio.

She earned a bachelors degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College, Boston, where she worked with several radio and television stations. She was the public affairs director at WERS-fm, and produced the station’s AP-Award Winning program, You Are Here.

» Twitter: @thejoypowers

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As a perennial swing state, it’s become an election-year tradition for national media outlets to swoop into Wisconsin to quickly gauge the hearts and minds of likely voters before whisking away their reporters to cover other stories. The practice is known as parachute journalism, and it can have some unfortunate repercussions. 

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can’t be overstated. At least 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with the infectious disease, which some experts believe is a massive undercount. Unemployment has skyrocketed and the economy is struggling to hang on.

Samer Ghani

The protests across the United States over racial inequity have been seen as a historic turning point in our national consciousness. Political, business and cultural leaders have lent their support to the movement for equity. But beyond the recognition of the issue and the apparent desire for change, the path forward remains unclear. 

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As we near next week’s primary election and the November general election, there has been an even greater focus on U.S. politics. But these conversations can become stilted by our own knowledge gaps about how government works in our country.

Joy Powers

In another timeline, Thursday would have been the opening day of the Wisconsin State Fair. But earlier this year, the fair was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most county fairs followed suit.

United States Census Bureau

The 2020 Census has faced a lot of hurdles. Aside from the coronavirus pandemic, widespread unrest, and economic turmoil, it was recently announced that the census will be ending all counting efforts a month early. 

The impact could be devastating for communities with low-response rates. Among other things, an inaccurate census count can lead to less federal aid and less political representation.

Courtesy of Jordan Davis

For Jordan Davis, the frontman of Milwaukee-band Space Raft, this time in relative lockdown has been an opportunity to finish up a project he’s been working on for two and a half years. The band just released two albums: Positively Space Raft, and its alter ego, Approximately Space Raft.

Lauren Sigfusson

Every month, Adam Carr from the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service joins Lake Effect to talk about some of the community events happening in Milwaukee. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the list has included things like virtual museum exhibits and Zoom events. Now, it includes some socially distanced, in-person things to experience.

1. Alice's Garden artisan and farmers markets 

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Ladarius Marshall was just 16-years-old when he was accused of murder. Despite little evidence, Marshall was sentenced in May of 2010 to 20 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision. 

B~Free & Quinten Farr, The Beat Index, Abby Jeanne, Space Raft

Although most live shows have been put on hold by the pandemic, Milwaukee bands are continuing to release new songs  — and Matt Wild has listened to most of them. Wild is one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Record, which describes itself as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. 

Maayan Silver

One of the most iconic parts of the recent protests here in Milwaukee is the many murals that have sprung up around the city. These pieces on streets and walls provide tangible expressions of the energy behind these demonstrations.

Vedale Hill has been a part of this movement, both as an activist and an artist. Although his Black Lives Matter mural covering the intersection of North Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and West Locust Street washed away, the piece was not just a visual reminder of the movement. It was a community effort in the heart of the city’s Harambe neighborhood.

Sara Stathas

As we inch closer to the November general election, community organizations are ramping up their outreach to potential voters. But for the Milwaukee-based group Black Leaders Organizing for Community, also known as BLOC, these efforts are happening all year, every year. 

The organization was created to invigorate and inform Black voters in Milwaukee neighborhoods — and not just when there’s a presidential election.

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The Democratic National Convention is just around the corner. Although the event has been scaled back, the Milwaukee Police Department is still preparing for a large-scale event. While there will be fewer people attending the physical convention, it’s unclear how many protesters will be coming to the area to take advantage of the national spotlight.

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The affordable housing crisis has been continuing to grow in the U.S. over the last decade. But the COVID-19 pandemic and record-high unemployment have exacerbated an already struggling system.

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Summer is in full swing and many of us are seeing exponential growth in our gardens. Although much of the planting is over for this year, we’re finally seeing the fruits of our labors — both literally and figuratively.

Melinda Myers is an expert in all things gardening and she joins Lake Effect every month. This month, she focuses on garden maintenance and plant management. 

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