Vernā Myers is a diversity consultant and self-described “recovering lawyer” with a degree from Harvard Law. She leads the Vernā Myers Consulting Group, an organization that has helped break down barriers of race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation in thousand-member workplaces. She is also the author of Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go from Well-Meaning to Well-Doing. Myers encourages us to recognize our own biases in order to actively combat them, emphasizing a “low guilt, high responsibility” philosophy. In her work she points to her own inner biases, because, as she says, “People relax when they know the diversity lady has her own issues.”
Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we’ve seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.