Starbucks to Hold Racial Bias Training Day Following Philadelphia Incident

After the manager at a Starbucks in Philadelphia had two black men arrested for trespassing when they asked to use the restroom without purchasing anything, the company announced it will close all 8,000 of its corporate locations on May 29 for a racial bias training session. Starbucks employs some 175,000 people at these locations.

starbucks-to-hold-racial-bias-trainingThe incident in the City of Brotherly Love on April 12 gained national notoriety when the female manager called police, saying the two men were trespassing after she told them the restroom was for paying customers only. After being so informed, the two sat at a table without ordering anything until police arrived and arrested them. The incident was videoed and placed online. Protests ensued at the location for the next couple of days.

Two days after the arrests, Starbucks issued a formal apology, and the CEO, Kevin Johnson, even flew from Seattle to meet with the two men to offer his apology.

“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 Johnson said in a statement announcing the afternoon of meetings. “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.”

Starbucks will team with  the Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Anti-Defamation League to craft the training session, which will then be made available to its licensees.

“We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer,” Howard Schultz, executive chairman, said in a statement.

Starbucks said later that the manager who called police “is no longer at that store.”

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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