Starbucks will close 8,000 of the company’s U.S.-based locations to train 175,000 employees and address implicit bias, promote inclusion and help prevent discrimination.
On Thursday, two black men were perp-walked out of Starbucks in Philadelphia for requesting to use the convenience. The two unidentified men were taken out in handcuffs and were held for nearly nine hours before being released, said criminal defense attorney Lauren Wimmer, who represented the men over the weekend when they potentially faced charges.
No charges were filed, authorities said.
One of the videos of the arrest rocketed across social media, with more than 9 million views by Monday morning.
“The Starbucks situation provides dangerous insight regarding the failure of our nation to take implicit bias seriously,” said the group’s president and CEO Derrick Johnson in a statement. “We refuse to believe that our unconscious bias –the racism we are often unaware of—can and does make its way into our actions and policies.”
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Implicit bias is universal, so it’s not only about the biases of officers, but those of the people calling police, Glaser said.
Once the company has completed this training at its company-owned locations it will make the it available to its licensed partners.
The company is working with the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Equal Justice Initiative, among others to create the program.