8 Powerful Reactions to Starbucks’ Decision to Close Its Stores for Racial Bias Training
“If you are angry about Starbucks closing for a day...you are kind of part of the problem."
On Tuesday, Starbucks announced that it will close down all 8,000 of its US stores on May 29 to provide “racial-bias education” to employees, after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location when the store manager called the police.
The company’s announcement was met online with equal parts derision and accolade, with some Twitter users saying the training was not enough and others praising Starbucks for its openness to implement change.
"The company's founding values are based on humanity and inclusion," executive chairman Howard Schultz said in a statement. "We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer."
Instances of discrimination against people of color are not uncommon in the US — and more than six in 10 Americans believe the US “needs to continue making changes to give blacks equal rights with whites.”
Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and reduced inequalities is goal number 10. You can join us and take action here.
Starbucks, for its part, has made efforts to increase inclusion in its stores across the country. It has held job fairs for refugees, promised to ensure pay equality for women, and opened a store that hires deaf baristas.
Now, it has the chance to make changes that will create a safer space for people of color. And maybe these eight tweets will give them a sense of how to do this:
if Starbucks has figured out an impactful way to educate ppl on racial bias in a single afternoon I hope they share their notes with the police https://t.co/8X8YGacgxh— @PiaGlenn (@PiaGlenn) April 17, 2018
So...y’all know @Starbucks found their way to my email to share the updates on their plans multiple times.— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) April 18, 2018
Yesterday, I asked for details of the training itself. As a diversity and equity practitioner, I’m interested in the fine print.
I’m looking forward to their response.
If you are angry about @Starbucks closing for a day to train staff and help stop racial profiling, you are kind of part of the problem.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) April 18, 2018
Wondering what it means/says that @Starbucks is closing its more than 8000 U.S. stores for training on 5/29, but not worldwide. Are they saying the problem/need for training is distinctly American?— Michael Smerconish (@smerconish) April 18, 2018
.@Starbucks should do more than meet with the 2 men arrested at #starbucks They should support the bipartisan Clean Slate Act, currently in the Pa legislature, which will seal the arrest records of the 2 men. Otherwise, their job search will be tainted forever. @ Kevin Johnson— Laura Goldman (@laurasgoldman) April 16, 2018
More than just “unconscious bias” trainings, #Starbucks needs to change its entire store design such that it doesn’t merely reflect the racism of whatever neighborhood it occupies https://t.co/mhubn6Ke5J— Brentin Mock (@brentinmock) April 17, 2018
To all the #Starbucks protestors,— Howard Jones (@HowieJones17) April 17, 2018
This one incident is only a part of the much bigger issue in America. Its the same reason that people lock their car doors when a black man walks by. The same reason why a black person can’t walk in a store without being watched....
Kudos to #Starbucks CEO he is killing it! He gets it. No excuses. No denials. He has set a high bar for his fellow CEOs. When racism occurs in your company.— Sophia A. Nelson (@IAmSophiaNelson) April 18, 2018
1. Own it.
2. Apologize for it.
3. Fix it.
Every company. College. Industry. Government agency. Should follow suit!