PHILADELPHIA — Starbucks will close more than 8,000 U.S. stores for an afternoon next month to train employees as the company responds to criticism after two black men were arrested while waiting at one of the coffee chain’s Philadelphia stores last week.
The “racial-bias education” training is scheduled for May 29 for nearly 175,000 employees, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
The announcement follows days of protest and a personal apology by Starbucks chief executive Kevin Johnson to the men in a private meeting Monday, a company spokeswoman confirmed to The Washington Post. The spokeswoman, Jamie Riley, did not provide additional details. Read more of the story after the jump
“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.
Starbucks said the curriculum will focus on how employees can recognize and address their own biases to prevent future discrimination.
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