Local Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif, left, stands inside the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce, and over a bullhorn, demands the firing of the manager that called police, which resulted in two black men being arrested. On Sunday April 15, 2018, protesters demonstrated outside the Starbucks and planned to return Monday. (Michael Bryant//Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

Starbucks to close more than 8,000 stores for racial bias training

Starbucks is planning to close all of its company-owned stores to teach employees about racial bias.

The coffee giant will close the doors of more than 8,000 locations during the afternoon of May 29, according to a release from the company.

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While stores are temporarily closed, nearly 175,000 employees will receive training to address implicit bias, promote inclusion and prevent discrimination, according to the company. There are around 50 Starbucks locations in the greater Dayton area, according to the coffee chain’s website.

The training session was scheduled a few days after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia store when employees called 911 to report the men for trespassing. Starbucks apologized for the incident on April 14 and said that it was reviewing the situation to figure out how to best address it.

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“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,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a press release. “While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution. 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.”

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