Starbucks to close Canadian stores briefly for anti-bias training in June

Starbucks Canada has confirmed it will be closing its 1,095 company-owned stores in Canada briefly for employee training, matching a similar effort in the United States.

8,000 U.S.-based stores are closing for an afternoon on May 29 to address concerns raised after two black men were arrested in a coffee shop in Philadelphia in April.

The men recently reached a symbolic $1 settlement, with a promise to fund a program for young entrepreneurs.

In a letter to employees sent out on Friday, Michael Conway, president of Starbucks Canada, said Canadian stores would shut down briefly on June 11 for the same kind of training.

“Our founding values are based on humanity and inclusion,” Conway says in the letter. “On Monday June 11, 2018 we will close all our company-operated stores and offices across Canada for a portion of the afternoon, for partners to participate in a training session designed to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome.”

The full letter is reproduced below:

Dear partners,

Our founding values are based on humanity and inclusion. We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect. That's core to being a Starbucks partner and it’s why we're proud to be partners.

We must never be complacent in our desire to be inclusive and to live our Mission and Values in every community we serve. It’s also important that our partners are supported and have the clarity they need to create a culture of warmth and belonging every time.

On Monday June 11, 2018 we will close all our company-operated stores and offices across Canada for a portion of the afternoon, for partners to participate in a training session designed to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome.

This will be an important investment in each of us, as we come together to re-commit to our Mission and Values. Please stay tuned for more details.

Respectfully,

Michael