Starbucks to close over 8000 stores today for employee diversity training

READ MORE A new policy at Starbucks People can sit without buying anything

Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) appealed to customers for forgiveness in a controversy over racial profiling on Tuesday, saying its behavior toward two black men last month had been reprehensible as it closed 8,000 USA stores for anti-bias training.

Haddad, like others across the country, was a bit suspicious of Starbucks' motives in closing down its stores.

One afternoon wouldn't really be "moving the needle on the biases", especially with a company that has as many employees as Starbucks, he said.

The company plans to share its materials with the public after the training, and hopes that other businesses will make use of the tools in their own workplaces. The training is typically created to get people to open up about implicit biases and stereotypes in encountering people of color, gender or other identities. Starbucks is sharing training content with licensed business partners to make it available to their employees at a later date.

Anti-bias sessions can incorporate personal reflections, explorations of feelings and mental exercises.

"I think all corporations should be implementing this", said North Haven's Amarilis Pullen.

A video posted on Starbucks' website gave a preview of what the session will entail.

The training is meant to help Starbucks navigate the challenges of being the "third place" that its leaders have often spoken about - the place where people spend time outside of work and their home. Each employee had been given a Starbucks branded booklet titled "My notebook", and were watching videos on tablets.

Anti-bias training is meant to get participants to recognise their own unconscious biases and avoid unintentional discrimination. "This is just a sign that you that they want to get ahead of the problem", Varner said.

Johnson declined to elaborate on the details of the Starbucks training. She said that should happen only when there is a provocation or danger. During the shutdown, roughly 175,000 employees watched a documentary and talked about their real-life experiences. She likened it to exercising a muscle. An employee called police and they were arrested for trespassing.

The incident was captured by people using cell phones and it went viral.

In addition, they settled with the city of Philadelphia for a symbolic $1 each and a promise that a $200,000 fund will be established to promote entrepreneurship among high school students.

After another incident in May when a non-paying black customer was denied a bathroom code even though it was given to a non-paying white customer, Schultz announced bathrooms would be open to all customers regardless of purchase.

Employees are being taught how to handle unconscious bias, in an effort to ensure all customers are treated fairly. They should dial 911 only if the situation seems unsafe. And Starbucks stands to lose millions by closing all of its stores in the U.S. Tuesday afternoon for the training program.

"I think that it's important, because. certain things. you do notice that people do", said Morgan Mason, a barista at the O Street Washington Starbucks.

Starbucks Corp appealed to customers for forgiveness in a row over racial profiling on Tuesday, saying its behavior toward two black American customers last month had been reprehensible as it closed 8,000 stores for anti-bias training.



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