At 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday, Starbucks will close all company-owned stores around the United States, about 8,000 locations, so 175,000 employees can spend several hours undergoing an anti-bias training the coffee chain decided to implement following an incident in a Philadelphia Starbucks in April. Stores operated by other companies, like those inside hotels, will stay open.
In Philadelphia, a Starbucks manager called the police on two black men who had waited two minutes to order until a third member of their business meeting arrived. Video surfaced of the men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, being arrested for "defiant trespassing," and the footage went viral. The manager was fired, and Nelson and Robinson reached settlements with both Starbucks and the city for their ordeal.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said the incident was "reprehensible," and that it "has led to a long–term commitment to reform systemwide policies." Tuesday's training should "be an open and honest conversation starting with our partners," he said. "We will also make the curriculum available to the public." Bonnie Kristian