The chain of Starbucks coffee shops closed its nearly 8,000 establishments throughout the country in the afternoon so that its employees could carry out a four-hour course aimed at combating racial discrimination.
“This afternoon, for several hours, we will close our stores and offices to discuss how to make Starbucks a place where everyone feels welcome,” the company announced via Twitter this morning, before its stores closed in a timely manner. Simultaneously in the early afternoon.
For the design of the course, which was expected to be attended by about 180,000 employees that the company has in the country, Starbucks was put in contact with various associations defending democracy and civil liberties.
The company, based in Seattle (Washington), tries with this measure to resolve the controversy carried out by the chain last April, when two black people were arrested in one of its coffee shops in the city of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania).
The events, which led to a series of protests in the streets of the city and a wave of outrage across the country, occurred when the manager of said branch decided to call the police to distrust the presence of two young people in the premises. black race that were not consuming anything.
When the agents appeared in the cafeteria, both claimed that they were waiting for a third friend who was late.
Despite the explanations, the police decided to stop them both, to the surprise of his friend, who arrived just in time to see how they were taking the two young people in handcuffs to the police station.
The events were recorded by another client who subsequently disclosed the images through social networks.
Before the indignation provoked by this event, the own president of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, moved to Philadelphia a few days after the facts to meet the two affected and apologize personally with them.