Howard Schultz on Starbucks' anti-bias training, "fracturing of humanity"

Starbucks' Schultz on anti-bias training

Every company-owned Starbucks store in the U.S. will close for a time this afternoon for racial bias training after the arrest of two black men inside a Philadelphia outpost in April. The incident, caught on video, showed Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson being placed in handcuffs after a store manager called 911 when they asked to use the bathroom without buying anything. 

First on "CBS This Morning," Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz addressed skepticism and concerns that the four-hour training could be a marketing ploy, saying, "It's just a beginning." 

"We hire 100,000 new people a year. This is going to be part of the on-boarding training. We're going to globalize this. I've been through the training myself as has all the global leaders. And this is something that we're going to stay with. Not something that's going to be a marketing or PR -- we could have spent marketing dollars a lot different than something like this," Schultz said.    

The closures are estimated to cost Starbucks about $12 million in revenue.  

The former CEO also said this has been "one of the most important, transformational moments" in the company's history. 

"I think we're living in a time in America where there is a fracturing of humanity. And we have an opportunity given the fact that we have stores in every community in America to begin a very important conversation," Schultz said.   

Starbucks changes its bathroom policy, starts "racial bias" training

Starbucks is also investing in communities where a brand like theirs might not traditionally be present, he said, listing places like Ferguson, Bedford–Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, Oakland and Inglewood. 

"We've done this so that we can be a beacon of hope for the community. We can demonstrate that it's good business," Schultz said. "Other companies can follow us in. We're hiring kids. We've hired 100,000 opportunity youth kids in the last couple of years. These are children who are the ages 18 to 24, mostly kids of color who do not have jobs. And local vendors. So we're already doing these things." 

Schultz said Starbucks spent the "entire day" with the two men arrested, Robinson and Nelson, on Friday in Seattle.  

"These are two fine, young men. We apologized to them countless times. And what we're doing for them and with them is trying to do everything we can to help them in their own careers. Since we offer free college tuition for all Starbucks employees, we're giving them that benefit, as well," Schultz said. 

He confirmed the men were compensated after the incident but would not disclose how much. 

"Obviously we can't release that. But Starbucks has done a lot to try and make this right as much as we can," Schultz said.   

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