Starbucks says it will close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States for one afternoon to educate employees about racial bias.
The announcement follows an uproar over the arrest of two black men who were waiting for a friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week. The store manager called the police.
The racial bias training will be provided on May 29 to about 175,000 workers.
“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.
“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” he said. “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.”
Our 2014 cover story on implicit bias examined how these type of trainings can be effective.