ROCHESTER, Minn. – Starbucks is closing its company-owned stores for one day to give employees unconscious bias training.
This comes after public outcry when two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia for sitting in the store.
Dee Sabol, with the Diversity Council in Rochester, helps give this type of training to different organizations in Rochester.
She said this type of training is to help people recognize any biases they may carry from simply live experience. She said anti-bias training is pretty standard and Starbucks employees can expect exercises like practice scenarios.
“Acknowledging little acts of bias we see and hear around us and might engage in. And hopefully this training will also address how do you behave differently? What are some of the tactics that you can bring with you out of the training in order to interact differently, and to help others interact differently,” Dee said.
She said organizations that have undergone such training in Rochester have positive feedback about the impact. According to Dee, one day of training like this does make a difference.
“One training to help you acknowledge that is a great start…the employees at the stores will learn enough to move forward in taking some actions independently,” she said. “Even one person standing up and interrupting that tolerance of bias can change a community.”