“Along with the majority of the country, we at Demos found the unjust arrest of two black men at a Starbucks in Philadelphia to be yet another disturbing example of the destructive, pervasive bias that people of color routinely face. This bias becomes a force that can change – or end – a person of color’s life when it is compounded with discriminatory, unaccountable policing.
Because of Heather McGhee’s role as a national thought-leader on addressing racism, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz asked her to offer guidance and feedback to Starbucks as it develops a training curriculum for its employees in countering racial bias. She will be working closely with other racial justice experts to advise the anti-bias training professionals whom Starbucks will employ to create the training. She believes this is an extraordinary first step, and must be followed up with ongoing employee education, a thorough review of policies, restitution to the two men and the community, and most importantly, company leadership on the broader issue of discriminatory policing.
Everyone in America has the responsibility to identify and unlearn the insidious lessons from our country’s inheritance of racism. Too few powerful people have admitted this and taken the lead to do their part. While this is one step of many for just one company among many, it is a step worth taking.”