Twenty-seven days before Starbucks plans to shut down 8,000 stores for “racial-bias” training (May 29), the coffee conglomerate reached a settlement with two black men whose arrest ignited decry across the states. According to the Associated Press, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson settled for a dollar each and a new program for upcoming entrepreneurs that’ll be backed by a $200,000 pledge.
When the two real estate agents entered the Philadelphia based Starbucks store on Apr. 12, they were immediately confronted by the establishment’s manager. Reports shortly after their detainment at the Rittenhouse Square coffee shop stated the pair were waiting for a friend. Officers arrested Nelson and Robinson, but charges were not filed. The aftermath of their arrest ignited protests from the city of brotherly love across the United States.
“I am pleased to have resolved the potential claims against the city in this productive manner,” the city’s Mayor Jim Kenney said. “This was an incident that evoked a lot of pain in our city and put us under a national spotlight for unwanted reasons.”
The news site notes the program will benefit Philadelphia’s high school students, a feat the two men believe will turn this experience into a fruitful outcome. “We thought long and hard about it and we feel like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see,” Robinson said. “It’s not a right-now thing that’s good for right now, but I feel like we will see the true change over time.”
After the decision was made public, Starbucks’ CEO Kevin Johnson said the company plans to engage in a long-term working relationship with the two men, and the company “will continue to take actions that stem from this incident to repair and reaffirm our values and vision for the kind of company we want to be.”