Starbucks racial bias training, explained


Starbucks closed about 8,000 stores on Tuesday, May 29, for its employees to undergo anti-bias training after the arrest of two black customers in early April sparked outrage and concern nationwide.

(Dunkin' Donuts, by contrast, has 139.) Employees at one Brooklyn shop confirmed the 2:30 p.m. closing time, while a sign in the window of another elaborated: "At Starbucks, we are proud to be a third place-a place between home and work where everyone is welcome". Starbucks reached an undisclosed settlement with the men who were arrested, and offered them a free college education.

Starbucks will temporarily close 8,000 of its stores Tuesday afternoon to address racial biases and train staff to understand prejudice.

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

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They'll also continue working with organizations like the Anti-Defamation League, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, UnidosUS, Muslim Advocates, as well as representatives of LGBTQ groups, religious groups, people with disabilities, and more to ensure the correct treatment of its customers. Each employee had been given a Starbucks branded booklet titled "My notebook", and were watching videos on tablets.

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Starbucks said the arrests never should have occurred and announced the mass closures of its stores for the afternoon of training. So they sat at a table and waited for the person with whom they were scheduled to meet.

The training will be internal and closed to the public, but Starbucks has released some information about what will happen. "We are different, but standing up for each other and having an increased sense of belonging to each other is really important", Sharma said.

Almost 200,000 Starbucks employees participated in today's racial bias training in 8,000 stores and offices across the nation.

"Also I think (Starbucks is) fighting this idea that, "Oh, we don't want people rolling their eyes saying '"this is mandatory training."'" The training wasn't mandatory but most baristas were expected to attend".

Laura Ingraham highlighted some of the passages in the racial bias handbook handed out to employees in the training sessions.