Starbucks Canada to close stores for training on race, bias and inclusion

TORONTO — Starbucks is closing about 1,100 Canadian locations this afternoon for training on race, bias and inclusion.

In a letter to customers, Starbucks Canada president Michael Conway says the training will involve sharing experiences, listening to experts, reflecting on the realities of bias in society and talking about how employees can create public spaces where everyone feels like they belong.

The training comes after the Seattle-based company publicly apologized for the arrest of two black men who had been refused permission to use the washroom of a Starbucks coffee shop in Philadelphia.

In his letter, Conway calls the incident “reprehensible” and says the training isn’t just about what happened in Philadelphia, but about humanity and making sure all customers feel safe and welcome.

The training sessions at the Canadian Starbucks stores begin at 3 p.m.

In late May, 8,000 U.S. locations were shut for an afternoon for similar training.

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