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Starbucks Is Shutting Down 8,000 Stores For The Day To Prove They’re Not Racist

REUTERS/Mark Makela

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter

Starbucks is shutting down all 8,000 stores for one day to offer racial bias education training to employees, the company announced Tuesday afternoon.

The 8,000 company-owned stores will close down May 29 to educate employees on how not to discriminate against people in their stores. During that afternoon, about 175,000 employees will participate in learning about implicit bias, knowing how to consciously include people and how to stop discrimination.

“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution. 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,” CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

The announcement comes after a store manager called the police on two black men who reportedly wanted to use the bathroom without paying for something. According to the police account, the men refused to leave repeatedly. Their lawyer said they had been waiting for a friend to meet them there.

Various leaders from civil rights organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense Fund and former Attorney General Eric Holder have given their input into the curriculum.

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