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New Hope Starbucks to Close for ‘Racial Bias’ Education

The New Hope Starbucks at 4 E. Bridge St. will close next month to allow for “racial-bias” education for employees.

In fact, more than 8,000 Starbucks-owned retail stores around the country will be closed on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 29. Staff will go through a training program designed to “address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome,” the company said.

The move follows the April 12 arrest of two black customers who were waiting for a friend to arrive at a Philadelphia Starbucks. The men asked for the code needed to use the bathroom, and were told it was only available for paying customers. A store manager then called the police, and the duo were arrested for trespassing, although no charges were filed.

Starbucks has since apologized.

“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,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson. “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.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the incident “appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018.” He added that the apology from Starbucks “is not enough,” and that he would ask the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to look into the incident.

The curriculum for the May 29 training session will be developed with guidance from several national and local experts confronting racial bias, Starbucks said in a statement.


About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


  • My Lord….Whatever will the “Boys Club” do?
    For years I’ve seen….as have you the group of gentlemen who “Hold Court” most days on the corner table outside Starbucks with maybe 1cup of something. Never a problem.
    Wonder if it were 5 or 6 black guys doing the same thing, what would happen.
    Personally, I think it was the manager of the Starbucks in question that made the mistake.
    Perhaps a “New” group may show up and actually support Starbucks…..Stay tuned.

  • Maybe this will give New Hope Starbucks customers an opportunity to look elsewhere for their coffee. Dunkin’ Donuts is just across the street. Only one word for this . . .pathetic.

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