Starbucks To Close 8,000 Stores For “Racial-Bias Education”

Starbucks To Close 8,000 Stores For “Racial-Bias Education”

The CEO of Starbucks announced today that all 8,000 stores in the company will close on May 29 to conduct “racial-bias education” seminars for its employees.

Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced it will be closing its more than 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States on the afternoon of May 29 to conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores. The training will be provided to nearly 175,000 partners (employees) across the country, and will become part of the onboarding process for new partners.

“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 comes after two black men were arrested in Philadelphia just days ago for waiting for a friend in a Starbucks before ordering their drinks.

Just yesterday, I reported on another incident where a black man was refused the digital code to access the men’s room but a white man was allowed to use those same facilities. Neither man had made a purchase yet.

In the clip below from MSNBC, I think Jason Johnson has a point in wondering how an afternoon of Human Resources training will combat lifetimes of employees’ own beliefs and reactions about race relations.

As Johnson says, just about everyone knows the commonsense way to treat people fairly. Whether they do it or not is primarily a choice they make.