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Starbucks calls for better race relations


Seattle – Starbucks Corp. is publicly calling for better race relations and public discussion of racial issues in the U.S. The company took out full-page advertisements promoting better race relations in the New York Times and USA Today earlier this week, and also is encouraging employees and customers to participate in the effort.

“We at Starbucks should be willing to talk about these issues in America," Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, said during a meeting at Starbucks company headquarters in December 2014. "Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are."

Since that time, more than 2,000 Starbucks employees have discussed racial issues at open forums in Oakland, Los Angeles, St. Louis, New York and Chicago.

To help engage customers in the conversation, employees in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Oakland and Los Angeles stores have voluntarily begun writing “Race Together” on Starbucks cups. Employees in all Starbucks stores in the U.S. joined them on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Employees in Starbucks stores may also engage customers in conversation through Race Together stickers available in select stores, and a special USA Today newspaper section arriving in stores later this week.

The Race Together initiative will be further outlined during Starbucks 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders in Seattle on March 18.

Watch the video message Howard Schultz shared with Starbucks partners throughout the U.S. last week.

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