Starbucks to close more than 8,000 stores for one day on May 29 for racial-bias training

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Starbucks will close more than 8,000 company-owned stores for one day on May 29 to conduct racial-bias education after the incident in Philadelphia. (KABC)

Starbucks will close more than 8,000 company-owned stores on May 29 to conduct racial-bias education after an incident at one of its stores in Philadelphia.

According to the company, the training will be provided to nearly 175,000 employees across the country.

This comes after two black men were arrested for trespassing last week while waiting on an acquaintance for a business meeting. A company spokesman confirmed Monday that the manager who called police is no longer an employee at the store.

The arrests sparked protests and calls for a boycott on social media.

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Both police and Starbucks are investigating after video of an arrest at a Philadelphia Starbuck went viral.



Starbucks ceo Kevin Johnson, who called the arrests "reprehensible," arrived in Philadelphia this weekend to personally confront the crisis. He met with the two men Monday, the company's spokeswoman said. Johnson had also promised to revamp store management training to include the "unconscious-bias" training.

"I watched the video, which was hard to watch. That is not what Starbucks is about. That is not representative of our mission, our values and our guiding principles," Johnson said.

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Just days after the arrest of two black men waiting for a friend at a Phildelphia Starbucks, a video recorded at a South Bay store earlier this year is raising new questions about Starbucks' policy.



Starbucks said the training will address "implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination, and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome."

"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," said Johnson.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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