Keynote Speaker Verna Myers
Vernā Myers is on a personal mission to disrupt the status quo and she knows how to: she’s lived it. Myers rose out of Baltimore’s working class to become a Harvard-trained lawyer, entrepreneur, author, and cultural innovator. Her dynamic, laugh-out-loud speeches inspire audiences to go further — to move beyond leveling the playing field to create a new field altogether — and empower people of all backgrounds to contribute at their highest levels.
Verna asks hard questions because today’s interdependent companies, governments, and communities need to figure out how to solve seemingly intractable, systemic problems. With humility born from years of experience in life and in the field, Verna’s stories spell out the steps needed to embrace difference and create fair and prosperous solutions that help reorganize our world.
Author of the best-selling books Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing and What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People, Verna has touched more than one million people through her speeches, appearances, and transformative message of power and possibility. Her inspiring TED talk, “How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them,” offers three ways any person can become an active participant in countering bias in ourselves and in others to create a more just world.
For the last two decades, Verna and her team of consultants have helped eradicate barriers of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation at elite international law firms, Wall Street powerhouses, and the 10,000 member Fire Department of New York, with the aim of establishing a new, more productive, and just status quo.