SEATTLE (AP) – Starbucks will close more than 8,000 stores nationwide Tuesday to conduct anti-bias training, the next of many steps the company is taking in an effort to restore its tarnished diversity-friendly image.
The coffee chain’s leaders reached out to bias training experts after the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks last month.
The plan has brought attention to the little-known world of “unconscious bias training” used by corporations, police departments and other organizations. It’s designed to get people to open up about implicit biases and stereotypes in encountering people of color, gender or other identities.
A video previewing the training says it will include recorded remarks from Starbucks executives as well as rapper and activist Common. From there, the company says, employees will “move into a real and honest exploration of bias.”