Starbucks to Close All Stores on May 29 for Racial-Bias Training

Starbucks is stepping up and facing the latest backlash that caused protests this weekend. On Thursday April 12, two men walked into a Philadelphia Starbucks and asked to use the restroom. An employee stated that restrooms were for paying customers, and the men sat down at a table to wait for their friend to arrive. A Starbucks employee asked the men to leave and they refused politely, asking why they were not welcome. Eventually one of the Starbucks employees called the police and the men were arrested for trespassing.

At the police station, the men were released once Starbucks made it clear that charges would not be made. In a statement, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized to both men, setting a goal for better training of Starbucks partners and to create a safe and welcoming environment in every Starbucks store.

To further this, all 8,000 stores in the United States (which is approximately 175,000 employees) will undergo a racial-bias education on the afternoon of May 29th.

“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson. “While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution. 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.”

This curriculum will include training on implicit bias, preventing discrimination and promote conscious inclusion. The training will then be included in future on-boarding training for new employees.

The times that the stores will be closed have not been announced just yet, so check with your local Starbucks for their hours on May 29th.
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