Multiple Starbucks Closed For Racial-Bias Education


via Wikimedia Commons

The Starbucks logo

Ever since 1971, Starbucks has been providing customers with freshly-made drinks and pastries. They have become one of the most popular and largest coffee chains in the world and serve over 500 customers a day. However, there have been multiple recent incidents that have occurred at Starbucks, involving segregation and racial inequality. Due to these events, Starbucks CEO has decided to close down over 8,000 stores for racial-bias education.

Recently, Starbucks has been criticized and protested against for not showing racial equality. On April 12th, two African American men were arrested at a shop in Philadelphia for no valid reason. The two men had not purchased anything and said that they were waiting to meet someone. Starbucks employees had then dialed 911 after the two men had asked to use the restroom and were denied, but still remained in the shop. Multiple customers had recorded the arrest and protested that white men were allowed to use the restroom and were able to sit down in the shop without buying anything and without getting arrested.

Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson, immediately stepped in and apologized for the incident and said that his goal is to do “whatever we can do to make things right” and promised customers “any necessary changes to our practices that would help prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again.” Johnson also proceeded to meet with the two men in Philadelphia and personally apologize for what had happened. Johnson then stated, “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 required dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.” Additionally, Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ executive chairman and former CEO added, “The company’s founding values are based on humanity and inclusion. We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer.”

Starbucks has made the decision to close over 8,000 stores on the afternoon of May 29 for racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in their stores, The training will be provided to over 175,000 Starbucks employees across the country, and will become on the on boarding process for new partners (employees). The curriculum for the training will be developed with help from several national and local experts on racial bias including Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Heather McGee, president of Demos; and many more. Through this training, Starbucks hope to strengthen their employees’ idea of racial equality and that an incident like this will never happen at Starbucks again.