Following an incident earlier this year at a Philadelphia Starbucks that saw two black men arrested while waiting for a friend, Starbucks announced company-wide racial bias training that will shut down over 8000 stores across the country for half a day next week. Now, details about what those workshops will look like are starting to pop up in a preview the company offered up to reporters, including the fact that rapper Common is set to appear in a video message during the training, along with similar videos from Starbucks execs. It's not known yet what Common's video will consist of.
The training will take place next Tuesday starting at 1 or 2 p.m. and last for about three hours. Reportedly, attendance is not mandatory. After CEO Kevin Johnson publicly apologized for the incident and apologized directly to the two men, Rashon Nelson and Dante Robinson, the company pledged to create a more inclusive environment in their locations, and this training is one way to help facilitate that.
"We understand that racial and systemic bias have many causes, sources, and ways of showing up within each of us and in our communities," says one of the training videos from the preview. In addition to the videos, the training will also be accompanied by a large guidebook that outlines policies, values, and ways employees can "create a more welcoming Starbucks," as well as small group activities.
"We're here to make Starbucks a place where everyone—everyone feels welcome," said Johnson in one of the videos. The company also recently announced that their bathrooms would no longer be restricted to paying customers, which was another point of contention during the incident in Philadelphia. Nelson and Robinson eventually settled with the city for $1 each and pledged $200,000 to support a youth program for local high schoolers.