Nichelle Whitney Wash

We are excited to welcome the newest member of the Board of Trustees, Nichelle Whitney Wash to the MCPL community! Appointed by the County Council, Nichelle will serve on the Board for a four-year term. We sat down for a Q&A with Nichelle and here’s what we discovered. 


Tell us a little bit about your education and work history?

I attended Indiana University and studied Human Biology with a concentration in Human Health & Disease. I identify as a STEM nerd in many ways, and during my academic journey fell in love with teaching people about the history of social identities in America. This new love led me to become a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultant. I’ve worked in a number of different roles including in higher education, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations. 


You’re the founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Guarden, which offers diversity education training for institutions, corporations, and organizations. Can you tell us more about The Guarden and how it came about?

The Guarden is an approach to training. Technically, I have to call it a company, but really it’s my heart for DEI work. The Guarden focuses on education, accountability, and grace in all of its work and centers the responsibility of creating equitable solutions and inclusive places. 


What is your favorite genre and/or book and why?

Well…according to my audiobooks profile, my top genre is documentary. I’m currently reading “Will” by Will Smith, and I must say I AM OBSESSED. There are so many nuggets of wisdom in his book, and it feels deeply personal – almost like he knew my life story. 


What is your favorite resource and/or thing about our Library?

My favorite resource without a doubt is the digital creation studio, Level Up. In fact, it was where I learned how to record my first podcast about three years ago.


Why did you choose to join the board?

I love MCPL. Its role in serving the community is so valuable, and MCPL has done such a wonderful job of stretching itself. From professional development to diversifying the catalogs, MCPL is certainly a leading community-based organization for Monroe County. I hope to continue to support these efforts and bring more people to the Library.


Are you involved in the community in other ways?

Yes, I currently serve as Chair of the Monroe County Women’s Commission and am on the Board of Directors of Tandem Community Birth Center and Postpartum House.


What do you like to do for fun?

I love chocolate cake. (That’s not what I love to do for fun, but it has to be mentioned.) In my free time, I enjoy traveling to sunny places with beaches, and I enjoy playing and watching basketball.