Justin Jansen joins HSTA as Leeward Chapter UniServ Director

The Iowa native brings years of experience in organizing, activism to HSTA

The Hawaii State Teachers Association welcomed Justin Jansen Monday as its newest UniServ Director. He'll be working with Jonathan Leibowitz to support Leeward Chapter members.

Born and raised in Iowa, Jansen moved to Hawaii in 2009. He worked for UNITE HERE Local 5, first as an organizer, then as part of the Hotel and Restaurant Industry Employment & Training Trust (HARIETT) helping members with career planning and training.

"I’ve been an organizer and activist since my early 20s, and a student of the labor movement," Jansen said. "I look forward to learning more about the public education system here and supporting teachers in their struggles to increase their quality of life and the quality of life for their students and their families."

Jansen most recently managed the Adult Literacy and English Language Learner programs for the non-profit organization Hawaii Literacy. He trained volunteer tutors to help people develop literacy skills, get their GED, enter the workforce, and/or acquire citizenship.

He previously worked for AmeriCorps, spent nearly two years in Bolivia with the Peace Corps, and studied Spanish in Oaxaca, Mexico.

When Jansen isn't working, you'll likely find him surfing or playing music as the drummer in a local blues and rock-and-roll band, The Maneki Nekos.