Starbucks (SBUX) released a preview of the racial-bias training curriculum that will take place when the coffee giant closes stores on May 29 following the arrest of two black men last month in one of its Philadelphia stores.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 29, nearly 175,000 Starbucks employees from 8,000 stores and those working in the corporate office will undergo four hours of training “designed to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome.”
The curriculum involves experts, including Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; and Heather McGhee, president of Demos, and many others.
“5/29 is an opportunity to renew our commitment to the ‘third place,’” a narrator in a preview video of the training says. “Because we understand that racial and systemic bias has many causes, sources, and ways of showing up within each of us and in our communities.”
On May 29, CEO Kevin Johnson will begin by welcoming the teams and partners. He’ll be followed by rapper and activist Common discussing identity. Then, executive chairman Howard Schultz will share his vision for the future of the company.
“And so on a personal level, I want to ask you, that together we do everything we can to build that third place in your store, in your community, one very neighborhood, in an ever-changing America, where everyone is welcome,” Schultz says in the video.
Board member Mellody Hobson and experts from the Perception Institute will explore the meaning of bias and how it manifests itself.
Starbucks employees will also explore their own personal biases. They’ll also get a history of racial discrimination in public settings dating back to the Civil Rights Movement. Award-winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson will then present his new film, “You’re Welcome.”
After the movie, Starbucks’s leaders will talk about policy, guidelines, and leadership. Partners will learn about how to make a “more welcoming” Starbucks.
Going forward, this training will be part of the company’s onboarding process for new hires.
Starbucks is also making the training materials open source so that other companies can use it.
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.
- Schultz: China will one day have twice as many Starbucks as the U.S.
- Schultz: Starbucks is not a media company
- Schultz: Businesses must do more given the ‘dysfunction’ in D.C.
- Schultz: I have ‘significant concerns’ about the direction of our country
- Starbucks plans to hire 240,000 people in the next five years
- Schultz: We need servant leadership and humility from our elected officials
- Starbucks hasn’t seen ‘substantive impact’ since vowing to hire refugees