SEATTLE (CNN Money) – Starbucks needs to do much more to eliminate racial bias from its stores, according to a report published Monday that urges the company to conduct comprehensive civil rights and consumer profiling audits.
The report, compiled by two civil rights experts advising the company, comes a month after Starbucks closed 8,000 stores nationwide to provide 175,000 employees with four hours of racial bias training. It provides feedback on that event, as well as recommendations for a “racial equity overhaul” of Starbucks — or any company that wants to make improvements.READ MORE: US Supreme Court To Consider Controversial Texas Abortion Law
“We’ve been clear from day one that a single training alone could not address racial bias across the entire Starbucks organization,” Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said in a news release announcing the report.
Ifill wrote the report with Heather McGhee, the former president of the liberal think-tank Demos.
Starbucks tapped the two women as unpaid, independent advisers to examine how the company handles racial bias. The corporate self-reflection came after police arrested two black men at a store in Philadelphia as they waited for a friend. The patrons, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, also contributed to the report.
That incident, which occurred April 12, sparked public outrage and prompted former Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz to call it “reprehensible” in an open letter to customers.READ MORE: Southlake Ranks 20th 'Best Small City In America'; Keller & Flower Mound Most Affordable
Monday’s report suggested that Starbucks conduct an internal audit to examine any customer service bias. It also criticizes the company’s policy manuals for lacking “adequate information” about detecting or addressing discrimination.
Other recommendations include the creation of a “customer bill of rights” which outlines how all customers can report their experiences, and is displayed in every store. The report also calls on Starbucks to deepen its connections within their local communities, and consult with local experts about gentrification and discriminatory policing.
The report also urges Starbucks to have an “independent racial equity consultant” create a detailed plan for future diversity and anti-bias training sessions. “While we applaud the commitment to more in-depth training, there is a drawback to the speed with which the company has developed the plan of action,” the authors wrote in the report.
Monday’s report came just hours after Starbucks published details of the reforms that it is enacting. It plans to launch “new trainings” that will build on those provided in May. The first training will focus on “understanding the realities and impact of discrimination.”
Starbucks explained that it is “already acting on many” of the suggestions that it received, including some of those outlined in the report. “We’re listening and reflecting,” said Vivek Varma, executive vice president of public affairs for Starbucks, in the news release. “We’re open minded and have more to do.”MORE NEWS: Texas Mother And Son Arrested In Wyoming For Murder In Oklahoma
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