News | Feb. 19, 2021

Black History Month Spotlight: Robin Nichols

DLA Disposition Services Public Affairs

Robin Nichols

Management/Program Analyst
President American Federation of Government Employees – Local 1626
Battle Creek, Michigan

official photo with American flag and blue background
Robin Nichols
Robin Nichols is a management and program analyst with DLA Logistics Information Services and serves as the president for American Federation of Government Employees - Local 1626. Nichols has 32 years with the federal government.
Photo By: Jace Armstrong
VIRIN: 180628-D-OS362-500
Can you tell us about yourself?
 I am a woman of God first, mother, sister and friend to many.  I am a proud career federal employee who loves serving the warfighter.  Most of all I am a servant in life doing all I can do help those less fortunate than me. I am a union activist and have accomplished much for employees, but my greatest accomplishments is being a mother of two beautiful adult daughters and proud grandmother, they call me “Nanny,” to three grand princesses and one grand prince. 

Describe your job in a sentence or two. As local president my position is one that bridges the gaps between management and employees.  It is a mediator of sorts who ensures fair and equitable treatment of all while working to maintain a positive work experience for employees.

How long have you worked for the federal government including military service? 32 years

How long have you worked for DLA? All work time has been in Logistics Information Services.

What is your favorite thing about your line of work? Feeling that I am helping others as well as the organization achieve a work environment and culture where others would want to come work.

What is the best piece of advice someone has given you? Always treat others the way you want to be treated – you reap what you sow.

What do you think about when you hear “Black History Month?” Strength, Endurance, Determination – A time to honor the struggle and victories of African Americans.

The theme for this month's observance is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.” In your words, briefly explain what this means to you?  Black families are the epitome of strength, adversity and change.  Through every wrong and attempt to bring the family down, black families have bonded together and overcome many obstacles in our way.  Our differences in our race, culture, and upbringing make us the great people we are.  It has molded our character and given us reasons to be proud.

Tell us something unique about your heritage or country of origin. Although there have been struggles, the black family has always persevered and stayed strong. We are survivors despite the effort to keep us down.

What is one thing you’d like others to know about your heritage?  Our heritage is one of strong spiritual and family backgrounds.  Our strong faith in God is what has brought us through many hard trials

Why is it important to you that we celebrate Black History Month? I believe it is important to celebrate the victories and accomplishments over the years of Black people.  There are many accomplishments that are not recognized or part of history that must be taught.  Many inventions, educational establishments, business institutions and the list goes on, have been started by black men and women, however, it is not shared in the history books.  It is important that factual data is in the history books for the generations to come.  Black people have been stereotyped as a negative part of history when, in fact, we have contributed greatly.  It needs to be told. 

Robin in traditional African wear near a bench.
Robin Nichols
Robin Nichols is a management and program analyst with DLA Logistics Information Services and serves as the president for American Federation of Government Employees - Local 1626. Nichols has 32 years with the federal government.
Photo By: Courtesy photo
VIRIN: 200217-D-D0441-500
What challenges do Black Americans face today and how can understanding history help us overcome them?
  The biggest challenge is overcoming the negative stereotype that plagues black people, specifically black men.  It is important to understand all black people are not drug dealers, thugs, gang bangers and other negative connotations.  Telling our story to all Americans is imperative to bring about awareness. 

Who’s your biggest influence? My Mother was the biggest influence in my life.  I watched her struggle as divorced woman, but as a mom her love for family and faith never wavered or suffered.  She taught me to keep God first in my life, and no matter what I went through I would be victorious.  She was right.  

Name your favorite/recent book(s) you have read. Becoming – Former First Lady Michelle Obama

Tell us something that most people might not know about you or your directorate? I was a very active athlete in school primarily basketball and coached my youngest daughter from 2nd to 8th grade in Little League play

What was your first job? My very first job when I was 14 was working as a clerical assistant at the Marine Recruiting Center in the late 1970’s. My first job in the federal government was as a clerk/typist

What is your best memory of working here?   The many valuable relationships I have built. Many of those people became like family, and, although most are retired today, we are still very close.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Teacher and principal

Who is your hero?  My mom

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?  Serve in Congress

What are your hobbies? Sports, reading, singing, going to church and spending time with my grandkids

What is your favorite quote? If I can help somebody as I travel along, If I can help somebody that is traveling wrong, If I can show somebody they are traveling wrong, then my living has not been in vain.