Founder; Executive Director
Joanna Poz-Molesky was born in Berkeley, California. At age 12, Joanna co-founded En Pointe Youth Dance Company, a program for young women to develop community, leadership, and provide positive models. At age 16, she initiated and organized the company’s 10-day exchange program to Mexico. The six years of developing a pre-professional youth dance company of 25 dancers diverse in age, ethnic background, and training received local and international press coverage, and set the foundation for the work that followed. In 2008, Joanna founded her second dance organization – JUNTOS – and eventually established its non-profit status. From 2008 to today, Joanna has led JUNTOS from a one-time project in Mexico to an internationally staffed organization with several programs, from week-long volunteer opportunities to year-long leadership training. Today, JUNTOS works with professional and pre-professional dance volunteers, providing free dance workshops and dance performances with select community alliances internationally. In 2014, Joanna was the youngest person recognized for her work as Distinguished Visitor of Xelajú in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s second largest city – an honor similar to receiving the key to the city.
Outside of JUNTOS, Joanna is the bar manager at Comal: a top-100 San Francisco Bay Area restaurant with a high-volume and culinary-driven bar. Through work in the industry, Joanna has developed an interest in the artisanal agave spirit, mezcal. She has been led to the history, anthropology, and sociology of agave spirits, prompting travel and learning directly from various family-operated distilleries. Because of this, Joanna is sought out to lead mezcal educational events.
Joanna graduated from the Ailey/School Fordham University’s BFA dance program, minoring in both Latin American/Latino Studies and Theology. She holds a certificate from from National Arts Strategies at University of Pennsylvania in their Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategies. Joanna has been awarded with several special recognitions for her community outreach and leadership (Prospect-Sierra Alumni Action Award, 2014; Hitachi National Award, 2006-07; Guardian Girl’s Going Places Award, 2006; Berkeley Community Fund for Leadership and Community Service, 2006; City of Berkeley Mayor’s Award, 2006).