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.
“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."
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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