LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Starbucks will be closing its more than 8,000 U.S. stores for one day to conduct “racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination”, the company announced Tuesday.
All Starbucks company-owned retail stores and corporate offices will be closed May 29 as the chain’s “partners” go through a training program that will include lessons on “implicit bias” and “promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome.”
Its corporate offices will also be closed at that time.
Starbucks says the curriculum will be developed with guidance from several national and local experts on racial bias, including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.
The announcement comes after two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks store, sparking protests and calls for a boycott on social media.
Starbucks says CEO Kevin Johnson met with the two men who were arrested last week.
Johnson, who called the arrests “reprehensible,” had said that he wanted to apologize to the men face-to-face.
“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.”
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