As a result, about 8,000 company-owned locations across the country will close early Tuesday. Starbucks locations in airports, on college and private business campuses and within grocery and other retail stores will remain open for regular hours.
Perception executive director Alexis McGill Johnson told Associated Press that the aim of anti-bias training is not to "say you're a bad person because you have a stereotype about a group, but say this is why your brain may have these stereotypes". Workers will also view a short documentary film.
"Well, I think like many people, it produced that same very familiar sinking feeling and anger, you know, first that the police were called for what was clearly a matter that did not require law enforcement, and then that these men were arrested by the police in that Starbucks". Customers should check with their local Starbucks to see what time they will reopen.
According to a video previewing the Starbucks training, there will be recorded remarks from Starbucks executives and rapper/activist Common.
As for her role in the training, Ifill said her goal was to ensure "that what they do undertake is rigorous and is likely to produce real results".
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Each store will get a tool kid to help guide the trainings, the company explained.
A letter from the coffee chain's CEO Howard Schultz stated that the stores would close "for several hours" and that approximately 175,000 Starbucks employees would be involved in the training.
"Our hope is that these learning sessions and discussions will make a difference within and beyond our stores", said Rossann Williams, Starbucks executive vice president for USA retail, in a news release.
Starbucks recently changed its policy to allow people who haven't made a purchase to spend time in stores or use the bathroom. If customers are disruptive, employees have been advised to step in.
CNN Money reports that workers have been given specific guidelines by the company that lists inappropriate behaviors where employees should step in. They also will participate in discussion and problem-solving sessions on identifying and avoiding bias. If so, employees are instructed to approach the customer, while another employee watches, and respectfully ask the customer to cease the offensive action.