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Starbucks closes for racial-bias education May 29


Philadelphia, PA – Starbucks Coffee’s more than 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States are closed this afternoon to conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in its 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, Starbucks Coffee Company said in a news release.

“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 chief executive officer 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.”

The curriculum will be developed with guidance from several national and local organizations confronting racial bias, including the Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Anti-Defamation League. Starbucks will involve experts from these organizations in monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the measures it is undertaking to eliminate racial bias.

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Earlier this week, Starbucks began a review of its training and practices. Once completed, the company will make the education materials available to other businesses, including its licensee partners, for use with their employees and leadership, the release said.