Starbucks will close more than 8,000 U.S. stores for an afternoon next month to train employees after two black men were arrested while waiting at one of the coffee chain’s Philadelphia stores last week.
The “racial-bias education” training will occur on May 29 and be provided to nearly 175,000 employees, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
Starbucks’s chief executive Kevin Johnson said he had spent the past few days in Philadelphia listening to the community, learning what the company did wrong and what steps were necessary to fix the problem.
“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,” Johnson said in the statement.
The curriculum will be developed with input from national and local experts confronting racial bias. They include Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; Heather McGhee, president of policy center Demos; and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.
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Read the full statement from Starbucks here