8,000 Starbucks to Close on Tuesday, May 29th for Racial-bias Training

Published May 28, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – All Starbucks company-owned retail stores and corporate offices will be closed in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 29, 2018. During that time, partners will go through a training program designed to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome.

This comes after an incident in April where two African Americans, who were waiting for someone to join them at a Philadelphia Starbucks were handcuffed after a Starbucks’ employee called the Philadelphia police on them. The person who they were waiting for arrived while the police were still on the scene.

“The company’s founding values are based on humanity and inclusion,” said executive chairman Howard Schultz, who joined Johnson and other senior Starbucks leaders in Philadelphia to meet with community leaders and Starbucks partners. “We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer.”

The curriculum will be developed with guidance from several national and local experts confronting racial bias, including Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund;  Heather McGhee, president of Demos; former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; and Jonathan Greenblatt, ceo of the Anti-Defamation League. Starbucks will involve these experts in monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the measures we undertake.

Once completed, the company will make the education materials available to other companies, including our licensee partners, for use with their employees and leadership.


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