Starbucks will close more than 8,000 company-owned stores for an afternoon on May 29 to hold training sessions on racial bias.
The announcement comes as Starbucks deals with a public relations crisis stemming from a video of police officers arresting two black men in a Philadelphia store over the weekend. The video, recorded and posted on Twitter by a bystander, has more than 10.4 million views. Prosecutors declined to charge either of the men for trespassing, the offense for which they were arrested.
Since then, people have protested at the Starbucks in question and CEO Kevin Johnson has called the incident "reprehensible." The Starbucks employee who called the police "is no longer at that store," although it is unclear whether she resigned or got the boot.
Next month's trainings represent the biggest step that Starbucks has taken to address racial bias at its stores. More than 175,000 employees are expected to participate in a training designed by national experts, including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.