Starbucks to Close All Stores... for an Afternoon

April 17, 2018

Brace yourself, coffee-junkies! Starbucks is closing!!! That's how the headline read to me at first. Turns out they are just closing for an afternoon. On Tuesday, May 29th, all company-owned Starbucks locations will close for racial-bias training. Of course this comes after the incident in Philadelphia where 2 black men were arrested after waiting for their friend to arrive inside a Starbucks.

“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 Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

Here's what the company's Facbeook post said:

On May 29th, we will close our company-owned stores in the US to conduct racial-bias training in order to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, and prevent discrimination so everyone feels safe and welcome at Starbucks.

The curriculum will be developed with guidance from national and local experts, including Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Heather McGhee, president of Demos; former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; and Jonathan Greenblatt, ceo of ADL - Anti-Defamation League. The training will impact nearly 175,000 partners (employees) across the country, and will become core to the orientation process for new partners. These experts will hold us accountable by monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the measures we undertake.

We’re ashamed and recognize that racial bias is a problem we need to–and will–address.

STOCK UP ON LATTES NOW!!!! Is that a thing? Guess if I'm having a rough day, I'll have to go straight to the wine.

On a serious note, I'm happy that Starbucks is working toward solutions to what is clearly a problem. It's not just a problem for Starbucks, of course, but anyone looking for solutions is okay with me! :)