Starbucks shuts stores, asks workers to discuss race

A Starbucks barista prepares a drink at a Starbucks Coffee Shop location in New York Wednesday

Starbucks shuts stores, asks workers to discuss race

Starbucks made a decision to close its more than 8,000 locations for the training after an April incident at a Philadelphia store where a worker called police on two black men who were waiting for a friend and asked to use the restroom.

On Long Island, most company-owned stores will close for the day between 2 and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday and reopen Wednesday morning, according to the Starbucks website.

Starbucks found itself in the national spotlight after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location last month.

Starbucks is closing all its stores nationwide on Tuesday, May 29, after an incident in which two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location.

After the incident, the company's leaders apologized and met with the men, and scheduled an afternoon of training for 175,000 employees at more than 8,000 US stores. The reason for the temporary closure, Starbucks had racial bias training for its employees.

- Over 8,000 Starbucks company-owned stores across the country will close Tuesday afternoon for what the company is calling "a conversation and learning session on race, bias and the building of a diverse welcoming company".

That follows comments from Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz said he didn't want people to feel "less than" if they were refused access.

"We introduced the first of our unconscious bias trainings in 2017, which are rolling out now to our. teams across our company", Target's statement reads.

'We could have spent marketing dollars different from this, ' he said in response to claims it was a 'marketing ploy'.

Turning away customers looking for an afternoon jolt of caffeine, Starbucks shops across the USA have begun closing up early to hold training for employees on recognizing hidden prejudices. Roughly 175,000 Starbucks employees will participate.

Perception executive director Alexis McGill Johnson told Associated Press that the aim of anti-bias training is not to "say you're a bad person because you have a stereotype about a group, but say this is why your brain may have these stereotypes". They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing.

If you went out this evening for a cup of coffee at Starbucks you may have noticed it was closed.

More companies should host similar training for their staff because racial bias exists across industries, said Jim Vincent, president of the NAACP Providence Branch.

Starbucks says it will also share the training materials with licensed business partners, to give their employees the option of taking part at a later time.

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