NEW: Starbucks to Close All Stores on May 29 for “Racial Bias Education”

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
GoLocalWorcester Business Team

Starbucks will be closing all of its shops across the country during the afternoon of May 29 to hold a racial-bias education program, the company announced Tuesday.

The move comes after the arrest of two African American men who were waiting for a friend at a Starbucks in Philadelphia last week.

While they were waiting, the store manager called the police.

"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. 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,” said Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, in a statement Tuesday.

Once the company has completed its training, it will be made available to partners.

The Closure

Starbucks has nearly 8,000 locations across the country, meaning that almost 175,000 employees will take part in the training program.

The program will address implicit bias, promote inclusion and also work to prevent discrimination.

Starbucks will be working with Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Sherrilyn Ifill, Demos president Heather McGhee, U.S. Attorney Eric Holder and more.

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