Starbucks responds to the on-going boycotts.
Ever since the reports came out that two black men had been unjustly detained for sitting in a Philadelphia Starbucks, the backlash against the company has been massive. Since the weekend there have been protests at Starbucks locations, as well as an online campaign to #BoycottStarbucks, a cause that has been promoted by celebrity activists such as T.I.
While Starbucks has already issued an apology for the incident, they've decided to take a dramatic step in order to help right the situation. In a press release published today, Starbucks announced that they would be closing all of their U.S. locations on May 29th, in order to provide racial bias education to nearly 175,000 employees across the country.
The curriculum will include input from the Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Anti-Defamation League, and more. The idea being to try and eliminate racial discrimination in Starbucks stores.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson made a statement, saying that "I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it." Adding, "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."
Whether or not this is enough to satisfy the people boycotting, or actually make an effective change in their company's behavior, will remain to be seen.