2 black men were unjustly handcuffed at Starbucks. Now, they're meeting with the CEO.

They were just waiting to start a business meeting. Now their story is fueling a movement that could permanently change corporate culture.

Two unnamed black men were filmed being led out of a Starbucks location by six Philadelphia police officers on April 12. At the time of this post, the video had already been viewed more than 10 million times.

The city's police commissioner initially defended the arrest, which reportedly came after a local Starbucks manager called in a complaint. Meanwhile, outrage over the incident grew — and so did pressure on Starbucks to address what increasingly is being labeled a case of racial bias.


Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney chimed in, saying, "I am heartbroken to see Philadelphia in the headlines for an incident that — at least based on what we know at this point — appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018."

After issuing three poorly received press releases, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson gave his first public interview about the incident to "Good Morning America" on Monday, April 16.

He apologized and offered to meet with the men directly to find a solution.

It turns out, Johnson's most recent apology was every bit as direct and specific as it should have been — and other public figures should take note.

"The circumstances surrounding the incident and the outcome in our store on Thursday were reprehensible. They were wrong," Johnson said. "And for that I personally apologize to the two gentlemen that were visiting our store."

"It's my responsibility to understand what happened and what led to that and to ensure that we fix it," he said.

Johnson added that Starbucks would update its training practices at its more than 28,000 locations, including what he described as "unconscious bias" in terms of how employees and managers treat people of different races and backgrounds. He reiterated that the company has an explicit policy against racial profiling.

"What happened to those two gentlemen was wrong," Johnson said. "We will hold ourselves accountable."

A "good apology" alone doesn't fix the problem, but it helps. Even news anchors who interviewed Johnson agreed, with George Stephanopoulos commenting, "This guy did not hedge. He took full responsibility."

"We rarely see that from a CEO," co-anchor Robin Roberts added. "He wasn't mincing words at all."

An injustice was committed, and that can't be forgotten. But Johnson's offer to meet with the two men is a step forward.

He said he'd like to meet face-to-face with the two men so that he can apologize directly.

"I'd like to invite them to join me in finding a constructive way to resolve this issue," he said.

It still remains to be seen exactly how this situation resolves (and a subsequent incident in Los Angeles that apparently took place on the same day as Johnson's interview doesn't bode well). After all, the two men in question still haven't used their opportunity to have their voices heard.

Still, it's clear that there is power in people speaking out and applying pressure on business and political leaders to provide accountability and solutions when an injustice needs to be corrected.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."