Starbucks closes 8,000 stores for diversity training including locations in Macon

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – More than 8,000 Starbucks stores across the U.S. closed their doors Tuesday to hold an anti-racial bias training with its employees.

The store closings come a little more than a month after a store manager called the police on two black men at a location in Philadelphia. Starbucks on Forsyth Road was one of those participating locations.

“I was pretty disappointed because I would’ve expected more,” said one customer Sydney King.

It was an incident that shocked and outraged people everywhere including customers of the Seattle-based coffee company.

“I just saw the video and it’s crazy to think that we’re living in that time where people are so racist,” another customer Rachel Hadley told 41NBC.

A month and a half after those two men were escorted out of a Starbucks in handcuffs, the company has made good on its promise to close thousands of stores for diversity training including its store on Forsyth Road in Macon.

“If it happens again, y’all have had the training and you’ve got to go instead of the customers,” Hadley said.

Wesleyan student Sydney King says she’s happy to see the company taking accountability.

“The fact that they’re willing to close down all of their stores so that their employees are getting that training, I think that’s terrific,” she explained.

Hadley says she hopes this is only the beginning for diversity inclusion.

“Hopefully it will let them see that we’re all one. We’re not different individuals because of our color,” she said.

Starbucks Executive Vice President Rossann Williams said this in a statement to company partners: “May 29th isn’t a solution, it’s a first step. By educating ourselves on understanding bias and how it affects our lives and the lives of the people we encounter and serve, we renew our commitment to making the third place welcoming and safe for everyone.”

Stores will re-open Wednesday morning at 5:00 AM. The company is estimated to lose up to $12 million in revenue during the time its locations are closed for the training.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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