Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Starbucks Closing Tuesday in US: What You Need to Know

READ MORE A new policy at Starbucks People can sit without buying anything READ MORE A new policy at Starbucks People can sit without buying anything
Lloyd Bates | 29 May, 2018, 18:35

Just over a month ago, two black men were wrongly arrested for "trespassing" on a store in Philadelphia, and the coffeehouse chain believes teaching staff about unconscious bias may help ensure that never happens again. In the New Orleans area, 25 of the 35 Starbucks sites will close at 2:30 p.m.

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A common example is white people unknowingly associating black people with criminal behaviour.

"We determined that insufficient support and training, a company policy that defined customers as paying patrons-versus anyone who enters a store-and bias led to the decision to call the police", he said.

According to a video previewing the Starbucks training, there will be recorded remarks from Starbucks executives and rapper/activist Common. Some 6,000 licensed Starbucks cafes will remain open in locations such as grocery stores and airports, and those employees will be trained at a later time. Those two men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, were sitting in the store for several minutes waiting for a business meeting with a third person when they were arrested and removed from the store.

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Starbucks advises employees to consider whether they'd be disturbed by the behavior in question if it was coming from a different customer.

During Starbucks' training today, Schultz said, employees will "be sharing life experiences, hearing from others, listening to experts, reflecting on the realities of bias in our society and talking about how all of us create public spaces where everyone feels like they belong - because they do".

The company has also changed its policy to allow people to use Starbucks' restrooms and spend time in stores, even if they don't make any purchases. There were nationwide protests and boycotts, and the city of Philadelphia also ended up settling with the men-the two got a symbolic $1 each, plus a promise of a $200,000 education program for young entrepreneurs.

Starbucks said the arrests never should have occurred and announced the mass closures of its stores for the afternoon of training.

It is working with volunteer advisers including Heather McGhee, president of social advocacy organization Demos, and Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. "We've made it clear that we won't be a rubber stamp to validate their programming", McGhee said.

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