On May 29, Starbucks will close 8,000 stores within the U.S. to launch a day of anti-racial bias and sensitivity training. To help prepare its employees, the billion dollar company released a video that outlines its goals.
According to The Seattle Times, Oscar Award-winner Common appears in the first visual as one of the brand’s guides to help attain a company-wide resolve. The “Glory” rapper’s mission will be to help “people see each other fully, completely, respectfully.”
The video depicts stories of people who’ve had a heightened level of self-awareness when dealing with those in the service field and how one wrong gesture can alter their reality. The four-hour training session will also highlight past instances of false accusations and discrimination, dating back to the Civil Rights Movement.
“They’ll then explore the realities and impact of racial discrimination in public accommodations from the Civil Rights Movement all the way to today,” the video’s narrator states.
This widespread decision arrived weeks after two black men in Philadelphia were detained. A Starbucks worker swiftly called the police, claiming the two men entered the shop and didn’t purchase anything. They were, however, waiting for a friend when the officers placed them in handcuffs.
The incident sparked boycotts and protests across the nation, placing a spotlight on this country’s longstanding battle with racism and discrimination. The two men settled for $1 each and a program that helps the city’s youth learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship.
At the end of the curriculum, Starbucks’ leaders hope they can answer the question asked by its board member, Mellody Hobson: “Can we structurally change the organization?”