NEW YORK — Starbucks says it will close its more than 8,000 U.S. stores for several hours next month to conduct racial-bias training to its nearly 175,000 workers.
- Announcement comes after arrest of 2 black men at Philadelphia location
- All Starbucks company-owned retail stores, corporate offices will be closed May 29
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 Corp. says the stores will be closed on the afternoon on May 29. Its corporate offices will also be closed at that time.
“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. 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," said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson in a statement.
"The company's founding values are based on humanity and inclusion. We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer," said executive chairman Howard Schultz.
Experts in "confronting bias" will help develop the curriculum, 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.