Starbucks will close 8,000 of its US locations for a portion of the afternoon on May 29, with over 175,000 of its employees undergoing racial bias training.
Stanley Nelson, a MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellow and documentarian, made a short film called "You're Welcome". A sign posted at a San Francisco store said the store would close at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday and reopen at 5 a.m. Wednesday.
Starbucks stores will close for one hour today to provide mandatory anti-bias training to its employees. Some 6,000 licensed Starbucks cafes will remain open in locations such as grocery stores and airports, and those employees will be trained at a later time. "And that's exactly what we want to see out of this and that's true change", said Rashon Nelson. The NAACP's Sherrilyn Ifill, who is one of Starbucks's advisors on its anti-bias training material, has previously noted that "this can't be a one-off". The customers said they were waiting for another man to arrive. "The respect should always be there", said Michelle Nunez-Armenta who is a student at Treasure Island Job Corps Center where she took implicit bias training. They were sitting in the store without ordering anything as they waited for a friend when the cops were called.
"We introduced the first of our unconscious bias trainings in 2017, which are rolling out now to our. teams across our company", Target's statement reads.
In settlements with the men and the city of Philadelphia, Starbucks pledged free education and a program for young entrepreneurs.
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One afternoon of training can't solve deep problems such as discrimination or treating customers differently due to their race, said Keba Konte, the founder of Red Bay Coffee, an Oakland, California-based coffee company whose staff includes women, people of color and people who had previously been imprisoned. From there, the company says, employees will "move into a real and honest exploration of bias".
"In some cases it can lead people who are kind of already reactive to these issues to become even more polarised", he told the Associated Press.
Williams said, "Starbucks is a company built on nurturing the human spirit, and it's on us to harness our scale and expertise to do right by the communities we serve".
Starbucks apologized for the incident, which sparked protests, online outrage, and calls for both clarifications of the chain's policies and for new training for its employees.
She added, "We won't be a rubber stamp" that gives the all-clear on bias in stores and other locations.