National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
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Meet the keynotes for the 2023 NRPA Annual Conference.
Inclusion Strategist & Cultural Innovator
The Vernā Myers Company | @vernamyers
Vernā Myers is an inclusion strategist, cultural innovator, thought leader, and social commentator. She’s well-known for her high-energy keynotes, her captivating insights, and her ability to help people bridge differences and connect more meaningfully. Myers rose out of Baltimore’s working class to become a Harvard-trained lawyer and founder of The Vernā Myers Company. In 2018, Myers took on the inaugural role of Vice President, Inclusion Strategy at Netflix, where she leads a diverse team of talent in curating and implementing strategies to integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of the organization’s global operations.
Myers is the author of two best-selling books published by the American Bar Association: Moving Diversity Forward: Going from Well-Meaning to Well-Doing and What If I Say The Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People. Her inspiring TED talk, “How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Towards Them,” has been viewed over 5 million times and translated into 27 different languages. Her course, Confronting Biases, was recognized as one of the top 10 LinkedIn Learning courses in 2021 and has been taken by over half-a-million learners.
In 2021, Myers was named by Diversity Woman as one of the top 100 Black Women Executives. Some of her other awards and activities include being elected as a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, Board Member of UC Hastings College of Law’s Work Life Law program, awarded the Diversity Champion award by Pepper Hamilton LLP, named by The Network Journal as “25 Influential Black Women in Business,” and recognized by Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly as a “Diversity Hero.”
In the early part of her career, Myers was the first Executive Director of The Boston Law Firm Group, served as Deputy Chief of Staff for the Attorney General of Massachusetts (1997-1999), and practiced corporate and real estate law for six years at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault LLP and Fitch, Wiley, Richlin & Tourse LLP. Myers graduated from Harvard Law School and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Barnard College, Columbia University.
For the last two decades, Myers and The Vernā Myers Company have helped hundreds of organizations eradicate barriers based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other differences with the aim of establishing a new, more productive, and just status quo. Her curated annual invitation-only Opus Conference on Race and Ethnicity successfully convened leaders across industries. She continues to convene conversations with guest speakers on her online talk show, “Sundays with Vernā.” Myers and The Vernā Myers Company offer their own brand of e-learning courses on various DEI topics on their online learning platform, tvmcu.com. Myers and The Vernā Myers Company own the trademark to her popularly used saying, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”®