#RootCauseRacism Blog Series 2: Why We're Going to Gemba

At the age of four, when my mom and sister taught me how to read, they started with classic fairy tales. What should have been a short and quick read, often turned into deep and more meaningful discussions and debates. I appreciate the time they took to indulge my pursuit of the higher WHY as my young mind grappled to understand why there was imbalance. Mama and my sister, were extremely patient as I would ask:

“Why didn’t all three pigs live in brick houses?”

“Why didn’t the emperor realize he wasn’t wearing any clothes?”

“Why was Cinderella’s family so mean to her?”

I’ve always been inquisitive by nature especially about matters and situations that appear to be unfair. Forty-five years later, I’m still asking questions about why there is imbalance, inequity, inequality, and disparity?

1. Why is it the median wealth of Black families is only one-tenth of White families?

2. Why do Black women suffer a larger pay gap than other demographic groups?

3. Why are there racial disparities in home ownership and mortgage interest rates?

4. Why are nonwhite school districts so poorly funded in comparison to White school districts?

5. Why does racism and racial bias contribute to worsening health outcomes for Black and Brown people?

6. Why are efforts being made to suppress the votes of people of color?

7. How can we use continuous improvement to address the issues of structural racism that exist in the areas of Economics (i.e. wages, income, and home ownership), Education, Healthcare, and Voting?

The questions I asked as a child and the ones I ask as an adult continue to be answered by “going to Gemba.” Gemba is the place where the real work or action takes place. Gemba is not limited to a manufacturing, production, or a business office environment. Gemba is a place that exists where people are working to make things better.

The 2020 Presidential election is being considered as the “Election of our Lifetime.” There is a lot at stake on the ballot from a city, county, state, and national level. Tensions are high in America partly due to the imbalance that COVID-19 has wrought and the civil unrest due to strained race relations. It’s important that “We the People” steady our thoughts, conduct our research, develop our plans and ensure our voices are heard when it comes to exercising our right to vote to make things in America better!

“Vote like you want to get to a place where poverty has ended, everyone has financial freedom and healthcare, air and water are clean, industries are sustainable with higher wages, housing is a human right, the justice system actually has justice, and COVID is contained. Let your voice be heard.” – Charles Booker

The inspiration of the second #RootCauseRacism blog series, “When Brothers Meet at Gemba” was inspired by conversations with my brothers in the Continuous Improvement community at Gemba about making things better in Economics, Education, Healthcare, and Voting. I invite you to share in our discoveries this week by:

Go See

Seek to understand, learn about the progress and the challenges of the US government (legislative, executive, & judicial) as it relates to all Americans, including Black Americans having a real chance to achieve success. Begin by reading our blogs When Brothers Meet at Gemba Blog Series and joining the webinars:

Monday, 10/19

3:00 pm EDT – “No We Won’t Stay in Our Lanes or Stick to Lean” by Mark Graban

Tuesday, 10/20

9:00 am EDT – “3-Steps to Becoming an Informed and Savvy Voter” by Jeff Welch

1:00 pm – 2:30pm EDT – “Plan and Vote for Kindness” Webinar registration link: https://bit.ly/36zJaBT

3:00 pm EDT – “Reflecting on Racism: I am racist. I don’t like it. Now what?” by Hugh R. Alley

Wednesday, 10/21

9:00 am EDT – “Myth of Hard Work” by Aric Ho

1:00 pm EDT – “Language is the gateway to the Gemba of the mind“ by Michael Crawford

3:00 pm EDT – “The Face of the Future State” by Sam Morgan

Thursday, 10/22

9:00 am EDT – “What You Need to Know Before Going to Gemba” by Christopher D. Chapman

1:00 pm – 2:30pm EDT – “When Brothers Meet at Gemba” Webinar registration link: https://bit.ly/2GnAZhH

Ask Why

Be curious about why we are experiencing issues with racial equity, equality, and inclusion in Economics, Education, Healthcare and Voting in 2020.

Show Respect

Discover how developing a voting plan and getting out to vote is one of the best demonstrations of respect for people. Lifting our voices by voting is the “one small thing” we can do to ensure there is liberty and justice for ALL!


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Deondra Wardelle is a Senior-level Training and Development Executive. She has proven expertise in Strategic Growth Initiatives, Organizational and Leadership Development, and Lean Six Sigma Implementation. Deondra has a track record of success in being a catalyst for change and a driver of results, driven to improve processes and operations. She is an astute business strategist who is driven, engaging, collaborative and results-focused. An inspirational leader who serves as a strategic business partner, cultural change steward and operational expert. Effectively lead change management process strategies that facilitate organizational transformation and increase overall capabilities. Possesses an inclusive management style that encourages idea sharing and inspires exceptionalism in others. Proven ability to design and deliver a comprehensive range of learning solutions which produce measurable results.

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