Starbucks closing stores Tuesday for anti-bias training

Starbucks Finalizes Plans for Racial Bias Training, Including an Appearance From Common

Starbucks Finalizes Plans for Racial Bias Training, Including an Appearance From Common

Starbucks is closing 8,000 company-owned USA stores at around 2 pm local time on Tuesday as a first step in training 175,000 employees on racial tolerance. From the design of the curriculum, to new technology being deployed to stores, the company is investing in each store so that the experience for all partners is meaningful and significant on May 29 and beyond.

"It could be having a question that elicits something more interesting than, say, the weather or the traffic, " Johnson said, stressing the need to "go well beyond the superficial". A video of the incident gained viral attention, causing a controversial discussion on race. The company has also changed its policy to allow people to use Starbucks' restrooms and spend time in stores, even if they haven't made any purchases.

They also reached a deal with the city of Philadelphia for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from city officials to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs. A guide advises staff to consider whether the actions they take would apply to any customer in the same situation.

Starbucks in a preview of Tuesday's four-hour program said employees will watch videos featuring company leaders, hip hop artist Common and experts from the Perception Institute as well as a short documentary the on history of racism in public spaces. The men, who had previously asked for the code needed to use the store's bathroom, said they were waiting for a friend.

Starbucks says while it is closing all company-operated Starbucks stores early for training Tuesday, most of its 7,000 licensed stores, like those operated by major grocery stores, hotels, universities or airports, are expected to remain open.

The company says employees going through the training will "move into a real and honest exploration of bias".

Executive vice president Rossann Williams said it was only the beginning of "a long-term journey" to make Starbucks more "welcoming and safe for all".

Starbucks management received a version of the bias training this week, Sherrilyn Ifill, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund told CNN.

"One of the things Starbucks has to wrestle with is how to incorporate this kind of training into the onboarding of every employee, " Ifill said.

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