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paying it forward

Men arrested at Philadelphia Starbucks settle with city for $2 and a youth entrepreneurship program

The two black men who were arrested last month for sitting inside a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering have reached settlements with both the city and the coffee company, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Starbucks reportedly settled for an undisclosed sum, and offered to pay for the men's college educations. The city will give the men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, $1 each in a symbolic move chosen by the men. Instead of a larger sum for themselves, Robinson and Nelson arranged for the city of Philadelphia to set up a $200,000 program to support young entrepreneurs.

The arrest of the two men sparked protests and national outrage. Critics said that Robinson and Nelson were racially profiled and wrongfully arrested. The men sat at the local Starbucks without buying anything because they were waiting for a third man to arrive, AP reports, and store management called the police within two minutes of their arrival. They spent hours in jail before being released with no charges filed against them. The arrests will reportedly be expunged from their records as part of the agreement with the city.

The forthcoming program will grant local Philadelphia high schools resources to mentor budding entrepreneurs. "We thought long and hard about it, and we feel like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see," said Robinson. Read more at The Associated Press.