(AP) – Starbucks will close more than 8,000 stores nationwide Tuesday to conduct anti-bias training, the next of many steps the company is taking in an effort to restore its tarnished diversity-friendly image.
The coffee chain’s leaders reached out to bias training experts after the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks last month.
The plan has brought attention to the little-known world of "unconscious bias training" used by corporations, police departments and other organizations. It’s designed to get people to open up about implicit biases and stereotypes in encountering people of color, gender or other identities.
A video previewing the training says it will include recorded remarks from Starbucks executives as well as rapper and activist Common. From there, the company says, employees will "move into a real and honest exploration of bias."
In a statement on their website, Starbucks says the training will be provided to nearly 175,000 employees across the country and will become part of the onboarding process for new partners.
All Starbucks company-owned retail stores and corporate offices will be closed in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Read more from Starbucks here
On 5/29, we’ll close US company-owned stores to conduct racial-bias training to address implicit bias & prevent discrimination. We’re taking a hard look at who we are as a company. We’re ashamed & recognize that racial bias is a problem we must address. https://t.co/xIYc75BJPj
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) April 17, 2018