Indy celebrates Nichelle M. Hayes: The people’s choice!

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On January 24, AFSCME Local 3395 hosted a celebration party for the people’s pick for the Indianapolis Public Library CEO: Nichelle M. Hayes! As you can see in the video below, dozens of library workers and community members packed the Center for a joyous occasion now that the undemocratic Board of Trustees under Hope Tribble’s command was forced to settle with Hayes for their still unexplained refusal to hire her.

No doubt it is disappointing that, instead of Hayes or even a candidate who applied and was interviewed for the job, we are stuck with Greg Hill after Tribble anointed him in a closed-door meeting last year. All the same, we are closer than ever before to having a library that is truly run by and for the public.

Not only did we prevent Gabriel Morley from accepting the Board’s offer, but a remarkably diverse cross-section of our community engaged in a months-long battle that put a spotlight on the Board that isn’t going away any time soon. The most recent indication of their continued scrutiny under the public eye was the revelation that the majority of the Board didn’t even know about the statement Tribble released on their behalf. Three Board members then issued their own statement despite Tribble’s weak attempt to threaten any other members who spoke publicly on the matter.

Instead of only having two Board members who listen to us, the community now has three, with Stephen Lane joining Drs. Pat Payne and Khaula Murtadha. All three know the city has their back.

All that aside, we at the Indianapolis Liberation Center express our deepest gratitude to Hayes for her inspiring example of what real leadership looks like. In her 15 months as interim-CEO, workers got badly-needed raises, the working environment improved for all, and none of this is to mention her key role as Director of the Center for Black Literature & Culture.

Here’s to you, the people’s choice: Nichelle M. Hayes!