Training Will Occur at All Starbucks Company-Owned Stores and Will Apply to Nearly 175,000 US Partners

Starbucks Coffee Company will be closing its more than 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States on the afternoon of 29 May to conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in 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.

“I have 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.

“Whilst this is not limited to Starbucks, we are 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,”  said Starbucks ceo Kevin Johnson.

All company-owned retail stores and corporate offices will be closed in the afternoon of Tuesday, 29 May.

During that time, partners will go through a training programme designed to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a store feels safe and welcome.

“The company’s founding values are based on humanity and inclusion. We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer,” said Executive Chairman Howard Schultz, who joined Johnson and other senior leaders in Philadelphia to meet with community leaders and partners.

The curriculum will be developed with guidance from several national and local experts confronting racial bias, including Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Heather McGhee, President of Demos; former US Attorney General Eric Holder; and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.

The company will involve these experts in monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the measures being undertaken.

Earlier this week, the company began a review of its training and practices to make important reforms where necessary to ensure their stores always represent their Mission and Values, by providing a safe and inclusive environment for customers and partners.

Once completed, the company will make the education materials available to other companies, including their licensee partners, for use with their employees and leadership.

Starbucks was a three-time global winner of the World Branding Awards in the Retail-Coffee category.

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