Following the arrest of two men of color at a Starbucks store last month, Starbucks is providing anti-bias training today. Over 8,000 nationwide stores will close this afternoon for the 4-hour training session.
In April, two men of color asked to use the bathroom at a Philadelphia Starbucks store. However, they were denied access because they hadn’t yet made a purchase. The men continued to wait at the store for a friend to arrive.
Following their request, the manager on duty called the police, who arrested the men just as their friend showed up. Starbucks was quick to react to the incident. Within a week, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson traveled to Philadelphia to meet with both men, who reached a settlement. The sum has not been disclosed.
In addition to other settlements Starbucks made with the city of Philadelphia, the coffee chain also announced that it would close over 8,000 stores throughout the US in order to provide anti-bias training, which will take place this afternoon.
The training curriculum will be made available to to the public following today’s training.
According to the vice president for Starbucks U.S. retail, Rosann Williams, “Our hope is that these learning sessions and discussions will make a difference within and beyond our stores. May 29 isn’t a solution, it’s a first step. By educating ourselves on understanding bias and how it affects our lives and the lives of the people we encounter and serve, we renew our commitment to making the third place welcoming and safe for everyone.”