Starbucks shuts 8000 US stores for racial bias training

A Starbucks barista prepares a drink at a Starbucks Coffee Shop location in New York Wednesday

The Hawaii locations are part of an initiative the Seattle-based company announced earlier this month that will close more than 8,000 USA stores to conduct racial-bias training for almost 175,000 workers.

Most of Arizona's standalone locations were scheduled to close for the day starting at 2, 2:15 or 2:30 p.m.

The move comes after a Philadelphia Starbucks manager called police in April on two black men who were sitting inside the shop waiting for a friend without ordering anything.

A video released by the company ahead of the training session showed a clip of the two African-American men being arrested.

Starbucks has already made some policy changes to address bias at the chain. An open letter published on the company website says the training will include "sharing life experiences, hearing from others, listening to experts, reflecting on the realities of bias in our society and talking about how all of us create public spaces where everyone feels like they belong-because they do.

Starbucks gave a media preview of the session in NY in which Executive Chairman Howard Schultz said he considered the training necessary.

The 20-year-old Pawtucket resident said he agreed with the reason behind Starbucks' closing, though. More than 175,000 employees were expected to participate.

Americans in need of a Tall Matcha Green Tea Creme Frappucino will be left wanting today as Starbucks closes more than 8,000 cafes across the United States on Tuesday to conduct "unconscious bias training".

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"What (Starbucks is) doing today- they're educating".

She also said the company should make sure it is hiring managers who are sensitive to customers with different backgrounds.

"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".

He mounted the campaign in response to racial strife in Ferguson, Mo., and said he felt "we had to do something".

Mayor Jim Kenney also gave a statement in regards to the settlement, saying that, "Rather than spending time, money, and resources to engage in a potentially adversarial process, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson approached the city and invited us to partner with them in an attempt to make something positive come of this".

Starbucks corporate officials said it will share the racial-bias curriculum with the licensed stores.

Of course, Starbucks competitors, including Dunkin' Donuts, which has about 200 franchise stores on Long Island, and 7-Eleven, which has more than 100 stores here, will be open, as will local coffee shops.

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