The two men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last month for allegedly trespassing, after they sat down in the store without ordering anything.
Starbucks will close 8,000 of its locations across the US on May 29, and here's everything you need to know! A sign at one store in Chicago says it's locking its doors at 2:30 p.m. and reopening on Wednesday, for instance.
The plan covers only Starbucks-operated stores; almost all of the 7,000 Starbucks-licensed coffee shops - in places like supermarkets, hotels, and airports - are likely to remain open, the company says.
From there, employees will "move into a real and honest exploration of bias" where, in small groups, they can share how the issue comes up in their daily work life. The coffee chain's leaders apologized and met with the two men, but also reached out to activists and experts in bias training to put together a curriculum for its 175,000 workers.
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The arrests sparked outrage across the country after a customer posted video of the men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, who appeared to be cooperative as police officers took them into custody.
Starbucks is using the afternoon to "conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores", the company said in a statement in April.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said that the training, among other efforts, will help make sure that nothing like the arrests will happen at a Starbucks again. The NAACP's Sherrilyn Ifill, who is one of Starbucks's advisors on its anti-bias training material, has previously noted that "this can't be a one-off". If customers are disruptive, employees are advised to step in. Almost 175,000 employees will participate in the diversity training program - a first step, the company said, in addressing issues of racial bias among its workforce after a high-profile incident in Philadelphia last month prompted massive backlash and public outcry. Starbucks added that customers could be asked to change their behavior if they are unreasonably loud, watching something inappropriate on a personal device or their personal hygiene disrupts others.
The company offered specific guidelines in a document shared with employees. They also will participate in discussion and problem-solving sessions on identifying and avoiding bias. Licensed stores that are not owned by Starbucks are not required to close.