Myra Virgil, Ph.D.
Director of Human Affairs
Myra Virgil is a social worker by profession, trained and educated in Canada . She has extensive experience in the fields of child protection and working with inner-city youth, some of whom were native to Canada and others immigrating from countries such as Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean, China, the Philippines and Bangladesh. As a practicing front-line worker and manager, she was an active member of an intensive family treatment services team, its primary mandate being the prevention of placement of children, often representing multiple racial and ethnic groups. She was also a multicultural and multiracial advisor for one of the center’s busy youth and family clinical divisions.
Prior to returning to Bermuda in 2001, Myra managed a team of dedicated and professional youth protection workers in Montreal , Canada . Myra has also been an instructor and faculty member of Vanier College ’s Special Care Counseling program, supervising many college and university student placements. Returning to Bermuda , she has assisted in program development initiatives at Bermuda College , facilitating a workshop on ethics and designing a customer service training programme. She has worked for the Human Rights Commission of Bermuda as an Investigations Officer, and headed the Commission for Unity and Racial Equality’s (CURE), facilitating the agency’s strategic planning process, annual reporting and publication of new resources.
She remained at CURE until 1st July 2006 , when she assumed the position of Director of the Department of Human Affairs. Human Affairs is a policy and administrative unit within the former Ministry of Community Affairs and Sport of Bermuda, which oversees the operations of the Human Rights Commission, CURE, Consumer Affairs Bureau and the National Office for Seniors and the Disabled portfolios.
Amongst race relations, diversity, management, family, mental health and training, Myra holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, a Bachelor of Social Work, a Master of Social Work degree, complemented by a certificate in recruitment and selection, senior management development training, studies in Ombudsmanship, a certificate in the roles of leadership and intermediate level mediation training.
Myra is committed to being a part of improving race relations and human rights activity and dialogue in Bermuda and to encouraging young people to be leaders. She has a vision for Bermuda that sees residents respectful of each other’s differences, encouraging a strong sense of self-identity and acknowledging each other’s individual characteristics and contributions rather than stereotypes. She believes that all members of the community own a responsibility for improving race relations in Bermuda and that the way forward is through sustained and genuine dialogue.
Myra completed the Taos PhD programme in 2006; successfully defended her dissertation entitled, “The Relational Realisation of Policy in Practice: Negotiating a Narrative Community of Race, Gender and other Privileged Identities”.
Wife and mother of two, she advocates for improved dialogic practices– “better and more conversations”– in the public service, private sector and in personal life.