Starbucks holds its first anti-bias training in stores nationwid - KPTV - FOX 12

Starbucks holds its first anti-bias training in stores nationwide

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BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

A controversial arrest in Philadelphia in April prompted a change in Starbucks policies.

Two African-American men were arrested at a Starbucks store as they waited for their friend to arrive.

Because they were not buying anything, the manager asked them to leave, an action that the public saw as racially motivated.

Tuesday was the start of Starbucks anti-bias training and an important step in a long-term journey for the company.

"We realize that four hours of training is not going to solve racial inequity in America or anyone coming into our stores that may have a problem,” Executive Chairman and Founder Howard Schultz said. “But we have to start the conversation.”

In Beaverton this morning, FOX 12 spoke with Starbucks customers about Tuesday’s mandated training and the incident itself that prompted it.

“I think everyone should do it. Teachers, cops, everybody in the workforce should do it. I think it's great,” Starbucks customer Ericka Heyerman said.

Everyone we talked to supported the training, but not everyone was sure how much good it would do.

“It's a bit of a serious PR move than it is than I am going to change the cultures of my employee's move,” Doug Robison said.

Closing down the stores, just for the afternoon, is costing the company $12 million dollars in sales, but Schultz said it's not an expense but an investment in the community.

For the future, Starbucks will start integrating the anti-bias training in every Starbucks store as well as the hiring process for new employees.

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