Starbucks Coffee Co. says it will close its more than 8,000 company-owned outlets in the U.S. for part of a day in May to conduct "racial-bias education" for its staff in the wake of the recent arrest of two black men at one of its stores in Philadelphia.
In a release issued Tuesday, Starbucks said the stores and its corporate offices will be shut for the afternoon on May 29 so its 175,000 U.S. employees can go through training to address "implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome."
Company CEO Kevin Johnson said: "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," he said.
The men were arrested by police on April 12 while they were in the shop waiting to meet someone. An employee at the outlet called 911 to say the men were trespassing. According media reports, officials have said police were told the men asked to use the store's restroom but they were denied because they hadn't bought anything and they refused to
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