Starbucks to Close 8,000 Stores for ‘Racial-Bias Education’

Starbucks announced Tuesday that it will close “more than 8,000 company-owned stores” on the afternoon of May 29 in order to accommodate “racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores,” according to a press release. “Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities,” CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement. All stores and corporate offices will be closed that afternoon as close to 175,000 U.S. employees will undergo a training program addressing things like “implicit bias” and promoting “conscious inclusion.” The curriculum will be crafted with leaders from the Equal Justice Initiative, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Demos, and the Anti-Defamation League. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will also be involved. On Monday, Johnson personally apologized to the two men who were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks after the store manager called the police on them for refusing to leave the store. The apology was delivered in-person and during a private meeting, according to The Washington Post.