Joan Suarez, is a life-long activist and organizer. She was Founding Executive Director of Bread and Roses Missouri and serves as Director Emeritus following her March 2021 retirement. She began working as an Education Director for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers in 1962, and later an International Vice-President of Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union. As a leader in Missouri JWJ, she helped to form the Bread and Roses project and lead its establishment as an independent non-profit in 2015. Joan is also Founding Chair (now Emeritus) of the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA), a post she held for 15 years.