STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Anti-bias training: How Starbucks is tackling implicit bias

Starbucks has planned an elaborate racial bias training session for its employees.On Tuesday afternoon, May 29...

Posted: May 29, 2018 2:07 PM
Updated: May 29, 2018 2:07 PM

Starbucks has planned an elaborate racial bias training session for its employees.

On Tuesday afternoon, May 29, workers at each location will break into small groups to learn together. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, Chairman Howard Schultz and musician and activist Common will serve as virtual guides. Employees will talk about their own experiences, and watch a film about bias.

The company explained that each store will get a tool kit to help guide the trainings. The session will focus on understanding both racial bias and the history of racial discrimination in public spaces in the United States.

About 175,000 workers will participate. The session will take place in stores and offices and about 8,000 company-owned stores will close for the event. More trainings will follow.

The coffee chain announced the training session after two black men were arrested for trespassing in a Philadelphia Starbucks. A store manager called the police because the two men were sitting in the store without placing an order. The customers said they were waiting for another man to arrive.

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 incident has prompted us to reflect more deeply on all forms of bias, the role of our stores in communities and our responsibility to ensure that nothing like this happens again at Starbucks," Schultz said in an open letter to customers on Tuesday. "The reflection has led to a long-term commitment to reform systemwide policies, while elevating inclusion and equity in all we do."

The letter ran as a full-page ad in the New York Times, USA Today and two Philadelphia papers.

Related: Starbucks has a bold plan to address racial bias. Will it work?

The company tapped several experts and researchers to help develop the curriculum, including Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Heather McGhee, president of the public policy organization Demos.

Ifill and McGhee, who both served as unpaid advisers, told reporters on a media call on Thursday that they think Starbucks' plan is ambitious. They added that they will issue a report in the next few weeks outlining a comprehensive set of issues they believe the company must address.

"We've made it clear that we won't be a rubber stamp to validate their programming," McGhee said.

Ifill said that Starbucks management received a version of the bias training this week.

The company said it will release training materials to the public next week, so others can use it.

"Our hope is that these learning sessions and discussions will make a difference within and beyond our stores," Starbucks executive Rossan Williams told employees in a note on Wednesday.

Starbucks recently changed its policy to allow people who haven't made a purchase to spend time in stores or use the bathroom.

Related: Starbucks: You don't need to buy anything to hang out in our stores

But there are limits to the new policy. If customers are disruptive, employees are advised to step in.

The company offered specific guidelines in a document shared with employees. The list of inappropriate behaviors includes smoking, using drugs or alcohol, sleeping or improperly using the restroom. 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.

Starbucks advises employees to consider whether they'd be disturbed by the behavior in question if it was coming from a different customer. It also suggests that they consult colleagues to see if they agree that the person is being disruptive. If so, employees are instructed to approach the customer, while another employee watches, and respectfully ask the customer to cease the offensive action. If a Starbucks employee thinks the situation isn't safe, he or she should call the police.

Starbucks did not immediately respond to a request to clarify whether Tuesday's training will offer more advice or training to employees on how to maintain the new policy.

-- CNN's Yon Pomrenze and Nathaniel Meyersohn contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 348496

Reported Deaths: 7556
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24427446
DeSoto23439283
Harrison21066330
Rankin15704292
Jackson15597252
Madison11114227
Lee10855179
Jones9181169
Forrest8960160
Lauderdale8008244
Lamar719489
Lowndes7167151
Lafayette6604125
Washington5629140
Pearl River5336153
Oktibbeha500998
Bolivar4989134
Warren4803128
Panola4801112
Marshall4725106
Pontotoc451473
Hancock438088
Union437179
Monroe4361137
Neshoba4351181
Lincoln4212116
Pike3711113
Leflore3668125
Tate354688
Alcorn353974
Sunflower350794
Adams345388
Scott344676
Yazoo342476
Copiah329868
Simpson325191
Itawamba316780
Coahoma314985
Tippah312568
Prentiss301863
Covington300184
Marion288681
Leake287875
Wayne280043
George276751
Grenada271388
Newton265964
Tishomingo240370
Winston237884
Stone234138
Jasper233148
Attala228173
Chickasaw220860
Holmes202274
Clay201154
Clarke188180
Tallahatchie185442
Calhoun183032
Smith182635
Yalobusha173141
Walthall149049
Lawrence145226
Greene141835
Amite138643
Noxubee136735
Perry135638
Montgomery133744
Carroll126831
Webster122632
Jefferson Davis118734
Tunica115827
Benton107225
Claiborne105731
Kemper103529
Humphreys101733
Franklin88324
Quitman85619
Choctaw82819
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson71928
Sharkey51818
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 589110

Reported Deaths: 11536
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson856031591
Mobile49268864
Madison37603533
Shelby27362257
Tuscaloosa27208465
Montgomery26252627
Baldwin25567329
Lee17260181
Calhoun15429334
Morgan15199291
Etowah14981370
Marshall13136235
Houston12112293
Elmore10946219
St. Clair10793252
Limestone10750158
Cullman10566205
Lauderdale10266254
DeKalb9517192
Talladega8972188
Walker7817288
Autauga7585114
Jackson7406117
Blount7382139
Colbert6721142
Coffee6382132
Dale5673117
Russell481343
Chilton4785117
Covington4763125
Franklin459081
Tallapoosa4525156
Escambia443883
Chambers3968125
Dallas3749163
Clarke371663
Marion3465107
Pike333079
Lawrence3267100
Winston299373
Bibb290965
Geneva285983
Marengo262767
Barbour252061
Pickens245762
Butler241472
Hale235978
Fayette227265
Henry214845
Monroe203041
Randolph201944
Cherokee199548
Washington185239
Macon170752
Crenshaw169458
Clay166559
Cleburne161545
Lamar151238
Lowndes145855
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa118429
Perry110828
Sumter110433
Greene99137
Choctaw64425
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 76°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 71°
Oxford
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Starkville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Tuesday will be filled with plenty of sunshine and temperatures will still remain below the normal high temperature for this time of year. Most of the high temperatures on Tuesday will range anywhere from the middle 80s to lower 90s across our area.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather