Nicole Y. Walters

Nicole Y. Walters

Nicole is from Carson, California. She was raised in a 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath house in the kind of middle-income, diverse neighborhood that is fast disappearing. She played Barbies with her friends on St. Augustine front lawns in perfect weather until the street lights came on. She’s from parents with deep Southern roots, wooden church benches, and ginormous record consoles.

Her late grandmother, Willie Flanagan, had a saying that she has adopted as her own and is perfect for most situations. She used to say: “Little Ol’ Gal, take what you got, make what you want.” Nicole says, “Those words are nothing short of my North Star. What resources do I have now? How can I use them to create the resources I desire to have later? Yes, grandma!”

When Nicole is not doing SAL Board things, she can be found singing jazz on various stages, flying across the country to see her grands, writing picture books, and composing and deleting inflammatory political tweets.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret was far and away Nicole’s favorite book growing up. She grew up in a very religious home and the mundane, casual, courageous way in which Margaret interrogates religion was downright scandalous, and perfect for her preteen curiosities.

On her favorite SAL event, Nicole says, “I had only recently moved to Seattle when I enrolled in a workshop hosted by Ruth Ozeki. She was kind, smart, encouraging. It was a small, intimate group and I felt so lucky to be there. When I found out that she was scheduled to speak at SAL, of course I had to be there. I think this is my favorite event because it was great to see her in a completely different setting and wearing a different energy.”