Starbucks to give all US staff racial-bias training

Starbucks to give all US staff racial-bias training

Starbucks Coffee Company has announced it will be closing its more than 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States on the afternoon of 29th May 2018 to conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in their stores. The training will be provided to nearly 175,000 partners (employees) across the country, and will become part of the onboarding process for new partners.

The move is a reaction to a Starbucks Philadelphia branch manager complaining that two black men had not made a purchase whilst waiting for their friend, causing the manager to call the police. The men were subsequently arrested and released shortly after. Protesters then disrupted business at the store where the incident occurred. Sadly another example of racial profiling and discrimination.

“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,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson. “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.”

All Starbucks company-owned retail stores and corporate offices will be closed in the afternoon of 29th May 2018. During that time, partners will go through a training program designed to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome.

“The company’s founding values are based on humanity and inclusion,” said executive chairman Howard Schultz, who joined Johnson and other senior Starbucks leaders in Philadelphia to meet with community leaders and Starbucks partners. “We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer.”

Watch :

A message from Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson

“We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer.”

The curriculum will be developed with guidance from several national and local experts confronting racial bias, including Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Heather McGhee, president of Demos; former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. Starbucks will involve these experts in monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the measures they undertake.

Earlier this week, Starbucks began a review of its training and practices to make important reforms where necessary to ensure their stores always represent their Mission and Values, by providing a safe and inclusive environment for customers and partners.

Once completed, the company will make the education materials available to other companies, including their licensee partners, for use with their employees and leadership.

About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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