wnol.info June 23 2018

Starbucks Is Closing Today For Its Company-Wide Unconscious Bias Training

June 23 2018, 04:25 | Alonzo Simpson

Earl Gibson III Getty Images

Earl Gibson III  Getty Images

Most closures appear to be starting at around 2:30 p.m. local time, according to Starbucks' website.

In April 2018, two black men, named Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, were sitting in a Starbucks store for several minutes in the Philadelphia area. Police said the men were arrested after a Starbucks manager asked them to leave because they hadn't bought anything and asked to use the restroom, which is against company policy. Police arrested the pair for trespassing, but they were later let go without charges and Starbucks and police apologized. A company representative added that Starbucks will also use the materials in its regular training, including for new hires.

The coffee chain will be closing more than 8,000 company-owned stores this afternoon-including both the Vermont and Prospect and Hillhurst and Avocado Reserve locations-to conduct "racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores".

Starbucks has also made it clear that this is only the beginning for their sensitivity training.

"But when a company is willing to put the hard issues before us", he says, "I think those kinds of companies should be supported, should be applauded".

But not all Starbucks locations will close.

Chris Tavares' expression soured as he considered going to Dunkin' Donuts for coffee instead of Starbucks, which was closed Tuesday afternoon as part of the chain's nationwide shutdown for racial-bias training.

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"We actually shy away from the word "training" altogether, because it's not quite possible to retrain our brains within a four-hour period", said Alexis McGill Johnson, co-founder of the Perception Institute, which helped design the sessions for Starbucks. "The respect should always be there", said Michelle Nunez-Armenta who is a student at Treasure Island Job Corps Center where she took implicit bias training.

"This is a great start, what they're doing".

However, it is expected that the training will have a largely positive effect in the long run.

"As soon as it happened, I grabbed my phone and said we need an emergency meeting", Pugh said, calling an emergency meeting to discuss anti-bias measures with his employees.

"Well, I think like many people, it produced that same very familiar sinking feeling and anger, you know, first that the police were called for what was clearly a matter that did not require law enforcement, and then that these men were arrested by the police in that Starbucks".

But some customers said the conversation is too little, too late.

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