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Why Some Starbucks Closed Today

Morning Shift gives a report, basically saying you can't remove customers for being black

Posted on
May 29, 2018

Starbucks across the country closed today for a company-wide bias training.  Find out more about the training from Politico's Morning Shift

Starbucks will shut 8,000 cafes across the U.S. this afternoon to conduct anti-bias training. "The four-hour master class has been designed to address implicit bias, promote inclusion, and help prevent discrimination with the hopes of preventing future incidences," CNBC's Sarah Whitten reports. "The curriculum features videos from Starbucks' CEO Kevin Johnson and Chairman Howard Schultz , as well as rapper Common, and members from the Perception Institute who speak on racial anxiety and how employees can better serve customers. Employees will also watch a documentary from award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson."

Not participating, as we reported last month, will be the Anti-Defamation League, whose CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, was originally slated to help create the event's curriculum. The ADL was dropped after a few black activists objected to its participation on the grounds that it was "pro-cop" and pro-Israel, and because it took offense at what the ADL said were anti-Semitic remarks by "a small minority" of leaders of Black Lives Matter. (The ADL didn't identify the leaders in question.) The company says its training is part of a "multi-phase effort" that will include ADL participation in the future.

The training was prompted by an incident in which two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia store location in April for using the bathroom without ordering coffee; they were present at the store for a business meeting with a third man who had not yet arrived. The company has now modified its store policies to allow anyone to use the bathroom. Also, "a really good step Starbucks took is the new guidelines for when employees should call the police," Sigal Barsade, a management professor at the Wharton School told Morning Shift. "They're much more specific."

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