More than 8,000 Starbucks will be closed during the afternoon for one day next month as the company conducts racial-bias education following racial complaints at several stores and the highly publicized arrests of two African-Americans at a Philadelphia store.
The training will be provided to more than 175,000 employees across the country on Tuesday, May 29, led by nationally recognized efforts, and will become part of new protocols for new employees, company officials announced on Tuesday.
The two men arrested at the Philadelphia location were arrested after sitting in the store without buying anything and refusing to leave, prompting their arrest. It has led to backlash for Starbucks, making national news and leading to several protests at several locations.
“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,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“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.”
According to a statement released by Starbucks, during the training, employees “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.”
"The company's founding values are based on humanity and inclusion," Executive Chairman Howard Schultz, who joined Johnson and other senior Starbucks leaders in Philadelphia to meet with community leaders and Starbucks partners, added. "We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer.”
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