Heather McGhee, president of Demos, an equal rights thinktank, will develop the Starbucks training plan with the former US attorney general Eric Holder and representatives of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education fund, the Equal Justice Initiative and the Anti-Defamation League.
“It called to mind some of my earliest memories as an African American of feeling unwelcome and being discriminated against in stores and restaurants and movie theaters,” McGhee said. “This is – more than most people who are not black know – a regular part of the considerations we have when moving through public and private spaces in America.”
cGhee said that while the closure of stores and the implementation of racial bias training was an eye-catching step, it would serve “really as an introduction”. It was important that Starbucks carried on the work, she said, including encouraging “interpersonal interactions” among employees of different races and backgrounds.
“It is very important that we take this opportunity to go as deep as we possibly can,” she said. “To review the policies and procedures, to have a longer-term engagement with Starbucks management about these issues on a deeper level.”