On May 29, Starbucks closed more than 8,000 of its stores early to provide four hours of anti-bias training to 175,000 employees across the U.S. The training, according to Starbucks, was intended to be “a conversation and learning session on race, bias and the building of a diverse welcoming company.” The decision to conduct the training followed the April arrest of two black men for sitting in a downtown Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything. Police were called on the men, who were handcuffed and escorted out of the store. Leading up to the store’s closure and in its aftermath, conversation and debate have taken place about the effectiveness and long-term effects of unconscious bias training, whether it will have positive results, and what those results look like.
Video production: Andrew Kennedy Lewis. B-roll courtesy of Starbucks. Footage of arrest by Melissa DePino.
Reporter: Ave Rio