Starbucks Shuts Down for Racial Equality Training

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Starbucks Shuts Down for Racial Equality Training

Isha Bedi

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Beginning on May 29, Starbucks will shut down 8,000 company-owned stores nationwide for an afternoon of racial bias training for nearly 175,000 employees.  The shutdown will cost the popular coffee chain 16.7 million dollars, as the franchise makes 35.5 million per day.  However, Starbucks believes that the shutdown will be well worth it, as the company is facing intense criticism from the public after a racially charged incident at one of its Philadelphia locations.  The staff member called the police on two black men after they hadn’t bought anything, but had asked if they could use the bathroom. The two men were told that the restrooms were only for paying customers, but they claimed they were waiting for a friend.  The pair was later arrested, though Starbucks decided not press charges.

The event caused an uproar among the American public, and many chose to boycott Starbucks coffee out of solidarity. The protest led the company to release a statement describing its plans for an afternoon of racial bias training and its desire to stick to their mission statement to provide “a safe and inclusive environment” for customers, employees, and partners.