Local Starbucks Close Tuesday To Join Others Around The Country In Diversity Training

May 29, 2018

The Starbucks at Glencoe Crossing on Washtenaw in Ann Arbor.
Credit Mckinley

Thousands of Starbucks stores, including in Washtenaw County, closed down Tuesday afternoon for special employee training.

The doors closed at the Glencoe Crossing Starbucks on Washtenaw in Ann Arbor at 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, so employees could take part in a “learning experience” about racial bias following an incident in Philadelphia, where two black men were arrested after sitting in a location waiting for a friend.

Malek Abduljaber is a regular at the Ann Arbor location.  He is currently fasting for Ramadan but bought a cold drink anyway so he could hang out there, in what he said is a very friendly and inclusive location.

Ann Arbor Starbucks barista Camille Frazier.
Credit Lisa Barry

“There’s this culture of Starbucks and white people, I don’t think it’s true though.  I think everybody goes to Starbucks, so, yeah, I think training is good,” says Abduljaber.

Camile Frazier has worked at this Ann Arbor Starbucks location for 3 years.  She says "it's good to get a common ground of understanding where everybody stands, adding an activity to engage in such a matter is important."

Credit Lisa Barry

Starbucks employees are discussing racism and discrimination during Tuesday afternoon’s closure and used a workbook to better educate themselves and improve the experience for customers in the future.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu