After an embattled few days, Starbucks caught the attention of millions on Tuesday, April 17, when they announced that they would close 8,000 of its stores for what is being called "racial-bias training."

The training will take place on May 29, and an estimated 175,000 Starbucks employees will take part.

The announcement comes a day after Johnson gave his first public interview since two young black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks when a manager called the police on them. Outrage over the incident went viral, leading to responses from the city's mayor and U.S. Senator Bob Casey:


The store manager who called the police has since left the company. Johnson traveled to Philadelphia where he met privately with the two men and earned some praise for his no-nonsense apology.

"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," he said in a statement announcing the store closures.

Several groups will help plan the training and monitor its progress.

It could be easy and understandable to write this off as a public relations stunt. After all, the stores will only be closed for a few hours and the exact conditions of the training are still being formulated.

However, Starbucks revealed that former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder will help plan out the training, along with NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill, and Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, amongst others.

"The company's founding values are based on humanity and inclusion," Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz said. "We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer."

One day of training won't end systemic racism — but it's another step toward progress.

Changing cultural norms about race will take a relentless pursuit of justice. It won't happen overnight and it can't be done in a few hours. That's something even Kevin Johnson himself acknowledged, saying:

"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."

Still, the move by Starbucks sends a message that most people in the company want to do better, and those affected by racism and other forms of prejudice are increasingly being heard and seen when others speak out.

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


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Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

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Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

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Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

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"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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