Big Ideas with Vernā Myers

Thursday, April 7, 8:15–9:15 AM

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.

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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.

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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.


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Registration & Housing

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


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


Most conference events will take place in the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202.

Other Questions

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