Janiru Herath
He/ Him/His
Special Education Teacher, Hiawatha Academies

Janiru Herath is a first-generation American working to change the realities of educational inequity in the Twin Cities. Ethnically Sri Lankan and born and raised in Japan, Janiru brings wide perspectives rooted in multiculturalism, advocacy, and cultural fluency. Having worked in various capacities within the educational, public health, and social justice spheres, Janiru currently works as a special education math teacher at Hiawatha College Prep- Kingfield, having the privilege of teaching some of the most inquisitive, curious, and passionate young future change-makers in the Twin Cities.

A proud Golden Gopher, Janiru graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Minnesota. A Teach for America alumnus, Janiru is a strong advocate for working to create equitable outcomes for all students in the Twin Cities.

A tri-cultural individual, Janiru is passionate about dismantling the roots and remnants of white supremacy and systems of power. Finding nexus points in politics, protest, advocacy, and justice work, Janiru is involved in progressive organizations working in the fields of environmental activism, police accountability, racial equity, and advocating for democratic socialist candidates for office. His areas of advocacy include destigmatizing mental health supports within Asian-American communities, bridging gaps within public health access, and recruiting, training, and supporting fellow educators of color.

In his spare time, Janiru is always in search of new skills to learn, and tries (unsuccessfully) to balance his many hobbies, including reading, fixing cars, playing guitar, watching and attending Gopher sporting events, listening to music, creating music, collecting everything Prince-related, cooking, biking, weight-lifting, and language study. Janiru serves as a board member with The Collective, a Teach For America alumni of color association, and also serves as a founding member of the Equity Council of Hiawatha Academies.