05.29.2018

Starbucks bias training: stores close Tuesday afternoon

Starbucks bias training: stores close Tuesday afternoon (Photo: courtesy of Starbucks Corp.)

Starbucks was attemping a dramatic move toward racial reconciliation Tuesday as it closed 8,000 stores across the nation for an afternoon of anti-bias training.

Up to 180,000 employees at Starbucks stores and at its headquarters are receiving training from a "tool kit" that will "focus on understanding prejudice and the history of public accommodations in the United States." Starbucks also said future training will address "all aspects of bias and experience."

Stores closed for three hours or longer starting at 1 p.m. or 2 p.m., across the U.S. 

The training follows an incident at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia in April in which a manager called police on two African-American men who were quietly waiting for a friend. Her complaint: They hadn't bought anything. Staffers also denied letting one use a restroom. Police arrested the pair for trespassing, but they were later let go without charges and Starbucks and police apologized.

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