UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Starbucks plans to close 8,000 U.S. stores for an afternoon of racial-bias education.
The company says nearly 175,000 employees will be trained May 29 to ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome.
The move follows the controversial arrests of two black men inside a Philadelphia Starbucks.
Witnesses said the men were quietly waiting on a friend, but the store manager called police to say they were refusing to buy something or leave.
The incident sparked protests and calls for a Starbucks boycott.
The men were arrested, but never charged. They’ve since discussed the issue with Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, who called the outcome “reprehensible.”
Materials for the company’s training session are being developed with the input of a number of experts, including the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.