Starbucks’ Push to Make Baristas Talk About Race is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

By Jenée Desmond-Harris. Starbucks has launched an initiative to encourage its employees and customers to have conversations about race.

CEO Howard Schultz has given baristas at 12,000 Starbucks locations the option to write the words “Race Together” on customers’ cups and begin discussions about race relations.

The initiative is a partnership with USA Today. Full-page ads in the New York Times and USA Today this week have advertisements supporting the Race Together initiative, and USA Today will include an insert with materials on race designed to spark the desired discussions and a hashtag — #RaceTogether — to publicly share results. According to Starbucks, the plan will be further detailed during Starbucks’ 2015 annual shareholders meeting in Seattle on Wednesday.

According to Starbucks, the Race Together initiative is an outgrowth of the discussion forums the company held in response to the outcry over racially biased policing after Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner’s in Staten Island, New York.

It appears to be a reflection of Schultz’s sincere distress over the pain and hostility that often underlies national headlines and controversies related to race and racism. While there is no shortage of tweets making light of the potential pitfalls of the effort, it would be unfair not to note that Race Together is probably an honest attempt on his part to make America better. (Read more from “Starbucks’ Push to Make Baristas Talk About Race Sounds Like It Could Be Disastrous” HERE)


Starbucks Strikes Up Hot Debate with Two Words They are Serving Up on Their Coffee Cups

By Kyle Becker. Starbucks has hit the next stage of business activism by encouraging baristas to strike up a conversation about race.

How are they going about broaching this delicate subject? By writing “race together” on their coffee cups.

Racial matters are certainly part of a national conversation that Americans should be having with one another.

The issue lies in this case whether or not it’s appropriate for a business to drop a charged conversation about race on customers without being solicited to do so. People go to Starbucks presumably for the coffee – not to be accosted with political issues. (Read more from this story HERE)

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