Starbucks Stores Begin to Shut for Worker Anti-Bias Training

Daniel Fowler
June 1, 2018

A day after Starbucks closed more than 8,000 of its stores across the USA for racial bias training, The Daily Show released its own take on what the company's training video may have looked like. But I do like how they're taking initiative and how they are showing people like, 'Hey. The chain apologized but also took the dramatic step of closing its stores early for the sessions. The manager called police because the two men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, were sitting in the store without placing an order.

Does unconscious bias training work? "And it's partly because bias is based on a lifetime of experiences with the media, and with real life".

"You know, I have a 12-year-old son", he says.

She said she thinks the Philadelphia incident which triggered the racial bias training shows it's "messed up" that people still need to be taught how to be cordial regardless of skin color.

She also said the company should make sure it is hiring managers who are sensitive to customers with different backgrounds. "Starbucks' employees will continue to operate in an environment that reinforces racial disparities", they wrote.

Tuesdays session was the first of monthly trainings for Starbucks employees that will touch on issues that extend beyond racial bias.

Not only did Starbucks close 8,000 of its locations on Thursday for company-wide racial bias training, but Common also made an appearance.

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Common first began a relationship with Starbucks' executive chairman Howard Schultz after police killed Michael Brown in Missouri. You can check the hours at your local Starbucks on the company's website. "You're not going to be able to say these are Black jobs, these are white jobs, these are men jobs and these are women jobs". He says he is now a regular of Sip and Savor, an independent coffee shop in Hyde Park, just a few blocks from a Starbucks.

TIME has reported that both men settled with the city for just $1 each, but with an agreement that officials would launch a $200,000 entrepreneurship program for students.

Starbucks' training could have a lasting impact on its employees' behavior and pave the way for other companies to finally tackle racism in their own eateries and shops, said Heather McGhee, president of public policy group Demos. "But I do think that it is always good to better educate and train the employees on how to deal with people in general", said Steve Mitcham, 62.

Calvin Lai, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, said people should not place high expectations on this one day.

Company leaders spoke out publicly, acknowledging that the company should do more.

"The incident has prompted us to reflect more deeply on all forms of bias, the role of our stores in communities and our responsibility to ensure that nothing like this happens again at Starbucks", Schultz said.

"I feel like a lot of other organizations wouldn't have done this", Huggins said.

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