The announcement was made after the arrest of two black men in Philadelphia at a local Starbucks who were waiting for a friend. The store manager called the police because the gentlemen were simply sitting and waiting which many non-people of color do all the time. The incident was videotaped and went viral causing many protests in the Philadelphia area.
The racial bias training will be provided to about 175,000 workers.
“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.
“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” he said. “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.”
Johnson met with the two men on Monday and apologized for how they were treated, a company spokesperson said.
Starbucks reported that the manager at the store no longer works at the location. Starbucks would not comment on other reports that she has left the company by mutual agreement.
Within the last few days another video was uploaded on Facebook video at a Starbucks in Hawthorne, California showing a black customer saying that he was not allowed to use the bathroom when a white customer was.