‘This is a great start’: Local Starbucks customers react to racial bias training

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you went out this evening for a cup of coffee at Starbucks you may have noticed it was closed. The reason for the temporary closure, Starbucks had racial bias training for its employees.

“This is a great start, what they’re doing. I think it’s a hot topic and really big deal nationwide right now,”┬ácustomer, Jacob Holland said. “So any efforts they can make in a positive direction I think it’s definitely beneficial for them and their customers.”

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This move comes after the arrest of two African American men in a Philadelphia Starbucks which sparked an outcry of discrimination across the nation.

“I like the fact that they are closing down their stores,” customer, Mya Huggins said. “I feel like it’s something that another major company or organization hasn’t done as of yet. I do honestly want to know what they’re talking about.”

The training aims to help employees understand the history of racial discrimination and racial bias in public areas.



“What are you going to learn from those four hours,” Huggins asked. “How are things going to change?”

A major concern about the training session is whether it will make a difference.

“I do feel like it is something that you can’t teach someone,” customer, Laasia Payne said. “It’s all within the person. But I do like how they’re taking initiative and how they are showing people like, ‘Hey. We really do care.'”

Overall many customers think the training is a step in the right direction.

“I feel like a lot of other organizations wouldn’t have done this,” Huggins said. “They would have let it die down or hired someone to get rid of it or anything like that. So I really admire them.”

Nearly 200,000 Starbucks employees participated in today’s racial bias training in 8,000 stores and offices across the nation.