WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Starbucks announced that it will close more than 8,000 company-owned stores across the U.S. to educate staff about racial bias.
- The announcement comes after a Philadelphia Starbucks manager had two black men arrested at the store last week.
- The racial-bias training for about 175,000 employees will be conducted on May 29, Tuesday afternoon.
Starbucks all across the U.S. will be closed on May 29 afternoon for a racial-bias training for its workers. The coffee company will be working with former Attorney General Eric Holder; Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League among others to create the program.
The training program was planned after the coffee company was entangled in a controversy last week.
On April 12, two black men, sitting inside a Starbucks location in Philadelphia, were asked to leave the store. The two had yet to order anything and said they were waiting for a friend.
When the men refused to leave, a manager called the police and had them arrested for trespassing. But, no charges were filed.
Protestors have briefly shut the location down, calling the coffee chain “anti-black.” The store reopened after the protest cooled down hours later.
“Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome—the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said.
On Monday, Johnson met with the two men to apologize for how they were treated.
“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 in a statement.
“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,” Johnson explained.
Starbucks confirms that the manager who called the police is no longer an employee at that store. The coffee company declined to comment about other reports that the manager has left Starbucks by mutual agreement.
Source: CNN Money