On May 29, over 175,000 employees across the United States will undergo racial bias education in order to "prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome". The employee who called the police no longer works for the company.
While the two arrested men have yet to be identified by name, the AP confirmed Johnson met in person with the pair April 16 to apologize. Starbucks did not say how many hours the stores would be shuttered on May 29, but the afternoon is the slowest time for Starbucks' business. Starbucks' announcement about this "racial-bias education" comes five days after a video of two black men being arrested at one of its locations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, went viral.
Philadelphia police have released a recording of a 911 call from the Starbucks employee that led to the controversial arrests of two black men at one of its stores. She gives the address of the Starbucks store, and the entire call lasts less than 30 seconds.
Starbucks, which was once ridiculed for urging its employees to write "Race Together" on coffee cups to start a national conversation on race relations, has found itself through the looking glass: under fire for its treatment of black people. After criticism from every nook and corner, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said that the arrests were "reprehensible".
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These separate incident have prompted Starbucks to respond by pledging to train their baristas and management staff on racial bias.
"Clearly, there's an opportunity for us to provide clarity and in addition to that I'd say there's training, more training that we're going to do with our store managers, not only around the guidelines but training around unconscious bias", Johnson told ABC News.
Other experts responsible for designing the training include executives from progressive think tank Demos, the Equal Justice Initiative, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill, and Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
The company announced Tuesday that the manager of the Philadelphia location seen in the video has resigned while an internal investigation continues. I think I take it very personally as everyone in our company does and we're committed to making it right.