Andrew Fitzgerald, Executive Director
Andrew Fitzgerald (he/him) has been the Executive Director of Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates (MIRA) since August 2018. An immigrant himself from London, England, he has been a resident of Missouri for over 20yrs. His career in nonprofit work spans more than 25 years, including 5 years with the American Red Cross and 12 years with Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM). His experience in international work includes living and working in Sighisoara, Romania for two years, and overseeing 40 international centers all over the world, during his time with LHM.
Andrew had no idea where St. Louis was on the map until he met his Florissant-born wife (in Romania). He is now securely tethered to the region with three kids aged 15, 12 and 10. He and his wife, Melissa, a therapist in the Hazelwood School District, continue to reside in Florissant. They are both passionate about advocating for equal opportunities for every person and are volunteer leaders of Empower North County. Andrew has a B.Sc.(Hons) in Business & Marketing from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications from Lindenwood University.
Rita Chang, Program Manager for ISPN & MIRA
Rita Chang (she/her) is a first-generation Taiwanese-American from St. Louis, MO. Rita graduated from Beloit College in 2018 with a B.A. in sociology. She has participated in research about community-based learning practices in higher education and meaningful and memorable learning experiences of first-year college students. Her academic and professional interests are in social movements, human rights, immigration, and education. Rita has studied at US/Mexico border, learning about bi-national organizations that serve groups on both sides of the border, an experience that has been funded by the Weissberg Foundation Program in Human Rights and Social Justice. Rita is passionate about challenging systems of oppression and changing the narrative about immigrants and refugees in Missouri.
Amelie Rode, Immigrant Advocate & Communications Intern
Amelie Rode (she/her) is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and graduated from Saint Louis University in 2018, with degrees in English and Women’s and Gender Studies. Since graduating, she has joined the Loretto Volunteer service-year program and has worked at a high school in El Paso, TX as the coordinator of student engagement. Now back in St. Louis, she has become a part of the team at MIRA through a second year of service with the Loretto Volunteer Program. Amelie is dedicated to confronting oppressive systems that are at work in the U.S. (especially those that deal with criminal justice and immigration) and to raising awareness in the general public so that folks on the margins are met with the acceptance and compassion they deserve.