A nationally recognized activist in the LGBTQ+, women’s and children’s rights movements, Joy joined the Board of Directors of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 1987, and served as GMHC’s Board President from 1989-1992, co-founding the Lesbian AIDS Project. In October of 1990, she was appointed by Mayor David Dinkins to the Board of the Economic Development Corporation of the City of New York and served for four years as the Board’s only openly LGBTQ+ member. Joy served as the national co-chair of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund ( 1992-1996) and received, among other awards, the Victory Award in recognition of her service. She now serves on the SAGE National Leadership Council.
A graduate of Syracuse University (BA in psychology) and Temple University (MA in psychology), she worked for some years as a psychologist specializing in vocational counseling and business consultation. For over 35 years, she has been a partner in Vanguard Investors Ltd., a New York City real estate firm engaged in the acquisition, development, renovation, and management of both commercial and residential properties. In that capacity she spearheaded the start of the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District and served as chair for three years.
In 2012, Joy co-founded Public Square Films, a social issues film and TV production company based in New York. She was Executive Producer of the 2012 Academy Award-nominated documentary, “How to Survive a Plague,” (Public Square’s first production), directed by award-winning journalist David France. The Sundance Selects film received the Gotham Award for. Best Documentary; the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Film (Director); the Boston Society of Film Critics nod for Best First Film and Best Documentary; and the International Documentary Association’s Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Filmmaker Award; and it was nominated for numerous other awards including the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary and appeared on countless “Ten Best of 2012” lists, including in Entertainment Weekly.
Public Square Films’ second documentary feature “The Death & Life of Marsha P. Johnson” has just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Joy lives in Chelsea a short distance from the new home of her 22-year old son, Evan who graduated from Oberlin College May, 2016.