Starbucks has announced a planned closure across their US branches on Tuesday 29 May for "Racial-bias Education" as reported by their newsroom page on This training will take place in over 8,000 company-owned stores and provided to nearly 175,000 Starbucks employees across the US.

The arrest of two innocent men set the wheels in motion for racial-bias training

Last week, two Black Men were arrested by Philadelphia police for "trespassing" while they were waiting for their friend in a Starbucks branch in Philadelphia. The event was recorded with a phone by another customer, who shared it on their Twitter account.

The video was shared on social media platforms and it was soon trending on Twitter. Starbucks was called out by many social media users for their behaviour and on Monday 16 April, there was a protest in front of the offending store.

The incident must have set the wheels in motion in the international coffee chain's headquarters as they published their racial-bias training announcement just days later, as well as some comments from their executives. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson launched an apology regarding the event and spent a few days in Philadelphia with his team to assess the situation.

Howard Schultz was another executive that joined CEO Kevin Johnson in Philadelphia. The executive chairman said "The company's founding values are based on humanity and inclusion." and ensured they would be learning from their mistakes and bring about changes to make Starbucks a welcoming environment for everyone once again.

Race training will 'ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome'

The official announcement says the training confronting racial bias that's developed with the help of many experts is "designed to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome."

The training will take place next month, resulting in a closure in US Starbucks stores for a couple of hours.

While the existing staff will get this training on Tuesday 29 May in the afternoon, future recruits will get the "Racial-bias Education" as a part of their "onboarding process."

CEO Kevin Johnson said that racial bias problems were not limited to their stores and that Starbucks wanted to be a part of the solution. Following that, Starbucks official announcement said the curriculum they develop will be shared with other companies, including licensee partners, for their use with their employees and leadership once it's ready.