Courageous Conversation Global Foundation

This letter to the editor originally appeared in the New York Times.

April 19, 2018

To the Editor:

Re “Starbucks Will Close 8,000 Stores for Training” (news article, April 18):

I would like to applaud Starbucks for swiftly taking action and scheduling racial bias training for employees. However, half a day of training does not address the racial trauma that the unwarranted arrest of two African-American men has inflicted on many customers of all races and employees.

Starbucks should be a beacon for embarking on the work of racial healing both internally and externally — and not just for one day. A few years ago, its chairman, Howard Schultz, made an ardent attempt to foster race conversations with his Race Together initiative. Although it was widely criticized, it signaled a willingness to step into the land mines that surround conversations about race.

They are much-needed conversations. Without them we will continue, as former Attorney General Eric Holder said, to “retreat to our race-protected cocoons” and remain a “nation of cowards.”