Wednesday, August 15, 2018
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See the documentary Starbucks showed workers at racial bias training

When Starbucks closed its stores across the United States on Tuesday afternoon to train employees on issues related to racial bias, the employees  were shown a video by Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson. And you can watch the seven-minute film here .

Called The Story of Access, Nelson's movie shows people talking about the biases they face every day. It includes cell phone footage of some well-known instances of harassment, including an employee following a black customer through a store. The clips include ones that have gone viral, like a video of lawyer Aaron Schlossberg ranting against people speaking Spanish and one of a horrified passenger reacting to a man being dragged down an airplane aisle by officials.

The training comes after two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks after they tried to use the bathroom without ordering anything. Footage of the arrests went viral, sparking boycott threats.

Materials from Tuesday's event are being made available to the public. Starbucks has said it hopes that they will be used by other companies conducting similar training.

Starbucks used a curriculum developed by a team of more than 30 experts, including neuroscientists, diversity and inclusion experts and community outreach leaders. Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Heather McGhee, president of the public policy organization Demos served as unpaid advisers and they enlisted the help of Nelson.

"We realize that four hours of training is not going to solve racial inequity in America," Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz told CNN on Tuesday. He said the trainings will be incorporated into employee hiring, and that the 7,000 licensed stores — including those operated by hotels, grocery stores and airports — that did not participate in the training Tuesday will do so over the next year.

 

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