Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson announced on April 17 that stores across the USA would close for training "geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores".
"I said that this is not about sitting down with civil right leaders and writing a check - this is about you've got to deal with the culture in your store", Sharpton said Tuesday afternoon at a town hall on racism hosted by MSNBC in Philadelphia. They were arrested after police arrived at the store. Starbucks is sharing training content with licensed business partners to make it available to their employees at a later date.
The incident, captured on social media, sparked outrage and protests.
One Starbucks customer at the Michigan Avenue location who asked not to be named had forgotten the closure was May 29 but knew about the mandatory training.
More such training is expected to follow in the days ahead proving the company's seriousness regarding the matter.
The sessions feature recorded remarks from executives, a short documentary film and small group conversations during which workers will have "a real an honest exploration of bias". She's worked at Starbucks for 14 years and had been considering starting to wear her hair natural, but it wasn't until Tuesday that she and her colleagues discussed the idea of doing so at work.
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Nelson and Robinson settled with Starbucks for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education.
Starbucks said the Philadelphia arrests never should have occurred. They also accepted from the city of Philadelphia a symbolic $1 each and a promise to launch a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs. She said that should happen only when there is a provocation or danger.
In the US, racial profiling is a serious, reoccurring issue that is neither novel nor exclusive to Starbucks. After the pair sat down to wait, the manager called the police.
Calvin Lai, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, said people should not place high expectations on this one day.
Over the course of four hours, the training took Starbucks employees through a series of videos and group discussions created to help them recognize and address their unconscious biases in the workplace. Stores will keep iPads given out for Tuesday's meetings and new videos will be added every month for additional training.
The training will impact around 175,000 workers, with stores shutting down at 2pm yesterday afternoon.