News Brief: In the wake of the controversial arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks store, the Seattle-based coffee giant announced Tuesday that it will close more than 8,000 U.S. company-operated locations and its corporate offices on the afternoon of May 29 to “conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores.” The incident made national news, sparking protests and social media outrage. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, a respected veteran tech executive who replaced Howard Schultz as CEO in 2016, made a personal apology to the two men, who were arrested for trespassing and later released with no charges filed.
“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, Johnson said in a statement. “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.”