The move came as the coffee giant reviews its policies and works to restore its reputation after the arrest of two black men at a location in Philadelphia back in April, reports CBS2's Janelle Burrell.
Starbucks closed 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 company was holding training sessions at its 8,000 US stores following an outcry over the arrest of two black men last month for sitting in a Philadelphia Starbucks without buying anything. Starbucks reached an undisclosed settlement with the men who were arrested, and offered them a free college education.
Starbucks will close the training with a video that has the message, "It won't be ideal, but we're all in this together". The stores don't plan to re-open until 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.
"I think a lot of people assume that a training, a lecture, a session, a brief exposure should be a good thing because it is better than nothing", she said. It also promised to give employees more training in the coming year, and to provide each store with a list of local resources for mental health and substance abuse services, housing shelters and protocols for calling authorities.
One of those advisers, former Attorney General Eric Holder, says that in some ways it's "disheartening" that these conversations still need to happen.
After the incident, the company's leaders apologized and met with the men, and scheduled an afternoon of training for 175,000 employees at more than 8,000 USA stores.
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Customers arrived to find locked doors and this sign on the door of Starbucks locations across the country.
"I support what they're doing", he said.
Starbucks has always sought to portray its stores as neighborhood-friendly spaces, but its rules about bathroom use and hanging out by non-customers has been up to the discretion of local managers.
"We realise that four hours of training is not going to solve racial inequity in America", Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz told CNN on Tuesday. The training will include a documentary film and video messages from Starbucks executives and rapper Common, as well as a discussion among store employees about their own experiences with bias.
As for her role in the training, Ifill said her goal was to ensure "that what they do undertake is rigorous and is likely to produce real results".
Starbucks corporate officials said it will share the racial-bias curriculum with the licensed stores.