Starbucks closes 8,000 stores for anti-bias training

TwitterTwo men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia

We've been updating you guys on the events that are taking place with Starbucks ever since two Black men were wrongfully arrested at a Philadelphia location.

Chicago area Starbucks stores were among the more than 8,000 Starbucks locations around the country locking their doors Tuesday afternoon to train employees about racial bias.

Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson had asked to use the restroom at a downtown Philadelphia Starbucks on April 12th as they waited to have a meeting but were told only paying customers could do so. The manager claimed they were trespassing because they were in the store without buying anything, and the two men were arrested and held in custody for several hours.

About eight stores will stay open. The stores don't plan to re-open until 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

7,000 licensed stores will not be closing, including those inside airports, hotels and grocery stores.

A Starbucks worker cordoned off a line of customers at the company's famous Pike Place Market location in Seattle as employees prepared to receive anti-bias training. He also pointed out that, with such a large company, and with so many employees who may be replaced within the next couple of years, one afternoon won't be "moving the needle" on these issues.

Pugh delivered the same message he suspects Starbucks employees received Tuesday, saying, "Treat everybody with dignity, have empathy and compassion". And, you know, it's part of a very, very long story about African-Americans and public accommodations and how we are treated in public spaces.

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When asked what they thought about Starbucks' decision to implement the training, President of the Monroe County NAACP and Monroe County United Tom Jones said that Starbucks was setting an example for other local businesses.

He said he thinks the racial bias training is, "a gesture that is one of good will, one that will ensure that they are trying to do right by their customers".

Some Starbucks Corp. shareholders have questioned the cost of the coffee giant's nationwide anti-bias training initiative, Chairman Howard Schultz said.

The coffee chain's leaders apologized and met with the two men, also reaching out to activists and experts in bias training to put together a curriculum for the chain's 175,000 workers.

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

"I think that it sends a positive message anyway that they are going to close all of the stores", said Hillary, 40, who did not want her last name published.

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

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