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University Equity and Inclusion
Woman speaking to colleagues in a virtual meeting

Virtual Learning Community

Don't let fear keep you from engaging

"What If I Say The Wrong Thing?" is a highly rated, short, easily digestible handbook of thought-provoking tips on how to be, and how to help others become, more culturally effective.  Author Vernā Myers explores the pitfalls of engaging across difference and offers solutions in powerful but accessible ways. 

Participants in the virtual learning community will use the book to recognize challenges, develop tools for more thoughtful interactions across difference, and understand how our attempts at finding connections can be improved with greater awareness and skill development. Most importantly, participants will learn and challenge their fears together!

Interested in hosting a book club for your unit? Contact us at

Book cover: What if I say the wrong thing?

Book Discussion Group

The Virtual Learning Community (VLC) meets virtually 6 times as a group (each spring and fall) to discuss the book What if I Say The Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People by Vernā A. Myers. The fall 2024 meeting dates are the following Wednesdays via Zoom from 1 to 2 pm: October 9, October 16, October 23, November 6, November 13, and November 20.

Registration for the fall session opens Tuesday, September 3, 2024!

Discussion Guides

The virtual learning community aims to help students, faculty, and staff improve communication across differences and create positive relationships with others in the Rutgers community. In each meeting, we will discuss a theme related to dignity and respect, loosely guided by the chapters that are most relevant. 

Meet The Lead

The VLC Book Group lead convenes each session prior to small group discussion and close each session with a larger group reflection.

Kaylin Padovano

Director of Diversity Education and Outreach | Facilitator

What are the benefits of joining a virtual learning community?


of participants surveyed report that they have a greater respect for people who are different from them as well as reporting a greater sense of community with Rutgers colleagues


of participants stated that they are more confident in leading conversations with a diverse group of peers


report feeling less stress when interacting with people different from themselves as a result of participating in the VLC