Friday, 22 June, 2018

Starbucks Closes More Than 8000 Stores Today, For Racial Bias Training

Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald during Question Time in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra Monday READ MORE Senator questions whether racism exists in Australia
Jodi Jackson | 29 May, 2018, 17:33

Starbucks says it will share the training materials with licensed business partners, to give their employees the option of taking part later.

According to the Perception Institute, the consultants who helped design the training, unconscious bias refers to the attitudes - both positive and negative - that people can have towards others without knowing it.

The two men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last month for allegedly trespassing, after they sat down in the store without ordering anything. The training will cover topics such as "implicit bias" and "conscious inclusion". "Starbucks' employees will continue to operate in an environment that reinforces racial disparities", they wrote.

Starbucks' video about the training closes with the message, "It won't be ideal, but we're all in this together".

But one Australian expert says the training - which will include a talk by the rapper Common - is unlikely to work.

The training session also features a film by Stanley Nelson, director of the documentary Freedom Riders. "This is just a sign that you that they want to get ahead of the problem", Varner said. One of them asked to go to the bathroom but was denied access.

Starbucks has since announced anyone can use its restrooms even if they are not buying anything. Starbucks added that if employees see customers who are unreasonably loud, watching something inappropriate on a personal device or disrupting others with their personal hygiene, they should also step in.

Schultz called the events at the Philadelphia store "reprehensible" in his letter, and said the closures were an opportunity for the company's employees to reflect on internal biases and racism.

The men settled with the city for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from officials to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs. The guidelines encourage workers to ask if they would take the considered action with any customer, to verify the perceived situation with a co-worker and to dial 911 if the situation becomes unsafe.

Williams said, "Starbucks is a company built on nurturing the human spirit, and it's on us to harness our scale and expertise to do right by the communities we serve". "We've made it clear that we won't be a rubber stamp to validate their programming", McGhee said.

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