List of local Starbucks closing for anti-bias training on May 29

READ MORE A new policy at Starbucks People can sit without buying anything

Starbucks is closing 8,000 company-owned US stores at around 2 pm local time on Tuesday as a first step in training 175,000 employees on racial tolerance. Starbucks announced the training soon after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks in April.

"The incident has prompted us to reflect more deeply on all forms of bias, the role of our stores in communities and our responsibility to ensure that nothing like this happens again at Starbucks", Schultz said.

Al Jazeera's Rob Reynolds reports from Washington, DC. Stores will be closed for three hours starting at 1 or 2 PM, across the U.S.

The closings affect all company-operated stores but most of its licensed stores like those operating in airports and grocery stores will remain open.

But not all Starbucks locations will close.

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Why? The ostensible justification was that Robinson and Nelson hadn't ordered anything. "The respect should always be there", said Michelle Nunez-Armenta who is a student at Treasure Island Job Corps Center where she took implicit bias training. The men, who had previously asked for the code needed to gain access to the store's restroom, said they were waiting for a friend.

"We introduced the first of our unconscious bias trainings in 2017, which are rolling out now to our. teams across our company", Target's statement reads.

The company tapped several experts and researchers to help develop the curriculum, including Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Heather McGhee, president of the public policy organization Demos. Employees will gather in small groups to discuss their personal experiences and watch a short film about racial bias. He said he'd like to see Starbucks' executive and managerial ranks to become as diverse as the customers they serve. They were asked to leave and an employee called police, which led to their arrest, prompting protests and accusations of racism. The move comes after backlash over the way two black men were recently treated in a Philadelphia store. Each of the companies reached multi-million dollar settlements and vowed to change their practices.

Customers who are disappointed with the afternoon closures on May 29 should fret not.

Since the incident, Starbucks has instituted a "Third Place" policy in which customers are "welcome to use Starbucks spaces, including our restrooms, cafes and patios, regardless of whether they make a purchase".

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