Big Ideas with Vernā Myers

Thursday, April 7, 8:15–9:15 AM

Colorado Convention Center, Bellco Theatre

Because our goal is to send you home from conference bursting with new ideas and knowledge, we’re featuring something special each day—a BIG idea. These are ideas and messages that can impact and empower the way you think, act, and work.

Vernā MyersVernā 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.

Vernā 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, Vernā’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 Move From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing and What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People, Vernā has touched over 1 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, Vernā 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.

This Big Ideas session will be captioned for our deaf and hard of hearing attendees.

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations, requests for refunds, and/or changes will be accepted until February 26, 2016, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. Refunds will be processed after April 25, 2016. According to PLA policy, all meal events require preregistration. The above cancellation/change information also applies to all preconferences, meal events, and tours.

The PLA 2016 Conference is offered on a cost-recovery basis. PLA reserves the right to cancel all or any part of this event if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor PLA is responsible for cancellation charges assessed by the airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred due to the cancellation of the workshops. All information listed on this website is subject to change.


PLA has put in place features to ensure the conference is accessible to all.


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Appropriate Conduct

All participants are expected to observe the rules and behaviors described in the Statement of Appropriate Conduct in all conference venues, including online venues, and conference social events.


There is no formal dress code at the PLA Conference. What’s most important is to dress for comfort.

Conference Logo

The custom logos of the PLA 2016 Conference are the property of PLA. Anyone wishing to use the logos in their communications and promotional materials must: 1) Seek permission from PLA; and 2) Submit communication/artwork incorporating the logo to PLA for final approval. The logo may not be modified and must be reproduced in its entirety (i.e., no outlines, cropping). To request the use of the logo, companies should contact Carly DiVito at Corcoran Expositions at 312-541-0567 or; all others should contact PLA at 800-545-2433 x5PLA (x5752) or


Contact Carly DiVito, Corcoran Expositions, 312-541-0567 or


No carrying of firearms allowed in the Colorado Convention Center unless you’re on-duty law enforcement or off-duty and on payroll of the show or SMG (convention center management).


The official conference hashtag is #PLA2016.


Contact Heather Cho, ALA Media Relations Specialist, 312-280-4020 or Please review our conference media policy.


ALA and PLA membership is managed by the ALA Membership & Customer Service (MACS) unit. To join, renew, rejoin, or add to your membership, fill out a secure form online; or print and fill out a membership form and fax or mail it in; or call 800-545-2433 and press 5. Direct your membership questions to MACS at or 800-545-2433 and press 5. MACS representatives are available Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Central.

Mobile App

Attendees can access full event schedule, evaluate sessions, customize their own agenda, and compete in the Extraordinary Exhibits photo challenge game on the PLA 2016 mobile app. To request assistance with the mobile app, please e-mail

PLA Office

The PLA Office is located in A Mezzanine in the Colorado Convention Center. You can access the A Mezzanine from any of the lobbies using Elevator A, across from registration, and press the MZ button to get to the Mezzanine. You can also access A Mezzanine from Exhibit Hall A using Stairwell 30. The office phone numbers are 303-228-8450 and 303-228-8451. Onsite office hours are Monday, April 4–Friday, April 8, 8:00 AM–5:00 PM; Saturday, April 9, 8:00 AM–1:00 PM.

Registration & Housing

Onsite registration hours are Tuesday, April 5, 7:30 AM–5:00 PM; Wednesday, April 6, 7:30 AM–6:30 PM; Thursday, April 7, 7:30 AM–5:30 PM; Friday, April 8, 7:30 AM–4:00 PM; and Saturday, April 9, 8:00–10:00 AM. Conference registration and housing is managed by Experient. Call or e-mail your questions, 800-424-5249 (U.S. and Canada), 847-996-5829 (all other countries), or Experient representatives are available Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM Eastern. PLA Conference is a professional event. It is not open to the public.


Contact Corcoran Expositions, Mary Michalik at 312-265-9650,; or Matt McLaughlin at 312-265-9655,

Thank you PLA Conference Sponsors!


Most conference events—including all preconferences and concurrent program sessions—will take place in the Colorado Convention Center (CCC), 700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202. Additional events will be held at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, 650 15th Street, Denver, CO 80202, and other venues as indicated.

Other Questions

Contact PLA, 800-545-2433 x5PLA (x5752) or; or find someone to help in the PLA Staff directory.