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Racism is not on the menu.
In the wake of the death of George Floyd and the resulting protests, Starbucks released a message on its social media account. According to the post, the coffee chain says that it “will not be bystanders.”
The message appeared on the company’s Twitter page, saying, “We will confront racism to create a more inclusive and just world. We stand in solidarity with our Black partners, customers and communities. We will not be bystanders.”
When asked by another social media what specific steps the company would be taking, Starbucks’ Twitter page responded, “We have 10 partner networks, one being our Black Network whose mission is to share the heritage of the African diaspora to develop partners and advise our business. We know alone that we can’t solve this, but we’re committed to keeping the conversation going.”
In a letter published to the company’s website, Starbucks’ CEO Kevin Johnson discussed a 90-minute forum that the company recently held, where diverse members of Starbucks’ team shared their stories and experiences.
Johnson concluded the letter, writing, “While we may not have all the answers, we know the path forward requires these courageous conversations with one another. As I shared at the close of today’s meeting it is, in part, our promise to one another as partners to live our mission and values daily. We are a family. We act with empathy and compassion. And we honor our differences, always. We uplift each other. Because that is what true Starbucks partners do.”
Prior to recent events, Starbucks had previously taken steps to become “a more open, equitable and inclusive company,” according to a document from February 2020, titled “An Update on Starbucks Civil Rights Assessment.”
According to the document, Starbucks hired former Attorney General Eric Holder in January 2019 to perform a civil rights assessment on the company. A year later, Holder returned to review the company’s progress. Holder said, “From its CEO to the women and men who work in its cafes, Starbucks is committed to the idea that everyone should feel welcomed, respected and safe in their stores.”