How Starbucks' anti-racial bias training will work

Workshop will include rapper Common


Starbucks locations nationwide will shut down next Tuesday for a racial bias training session.

The workshop will focus on understanding both racial bias and the history of racial discrimination in public spaces in the United States.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, Chairman Howard Schultz and musician and activist Common will serve as virtual guides. 

Employees at each location will break into small groups to talk about their own experiences and watch a film about bias.

The workshop is being held at 8,000-plus company-owned Starbucks stores as well as at the corporate offices, potentially reaching an estimated 175,000 employees. 

The session will begin at 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. in each time zone and last for three to four hours, depending on how quickly each group goes through it, according to the company. Attendance isn't mandatory, but employees who participate will be paid.

The company said it will release training materials to the public next week, so others can use it.

The coffee chain announced the training session in April after two black men were arrested for trespassing in a Philadelphia Starbucks. A store manager called the police because the two men were sitting in the store without placing an order. The customers said they were waiting for another man to arrive.

Starbucks recently changed its policy to allow people who haven't made a purchase to spend time in stores or use the bathroom.