Starbucks Will Close 8000 Stores to Conduct Racial-Bias Training

Starbucks Will Close 8000 Stores to Conduct Racial-Bias Training

Police arrested two black men who were waiting inside the Center City Starbucks which prompted an apology from the company's CEO. The manager alleged the men were trespassing because they had not ordered anything. They were waiting to meet a third person.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson has apologized profusely for the incident, a major black eye for a company that paints itself as espousing progressive values and which famously caused a controversy in 2015 when it sought to foster discussions of racial matters between its baristas and customers, an idea it quickly dropped. The police should not have been called in this situation and this was a teachable moment for all of us.

All Starbucks company-owned retail stores and corporate offices will be closed in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 29. The focus will be to provide employees with racial-bias education "geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores".

Starbucks is closing stores to train workers on issues such as implicit bias. "While this is not limited to Starbucks, we're committed to being a part of the solution".

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"Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities", said Mr Johnson. Starbucks will involve these experts in monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the measures we undertake.

As part of its damage-limitation effort, the company has asked civil rights leaders and officials including former US Attorney General Eric Holder for help in developing a "curriculum" for staff, which it will make available to other companies. Starbucks would not comment on other reports that she has left the company by mutual agreement.

The arrests prompted protests and calls to boycott Starbucks. While the arrest took place, the aforementioned business associate also arrived and informed the police the men were there to meet him to discuss a real estate deal.

"One of the things we're looking at is this is a time for us to look at policies, to look at our training and development, to look at our store managers and give them the required skills that they need".

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