Will Starbucks anti-bias training for employees be effective?

Earl Gibson III  Getty Images

Earl Gibson III Getty Images

The mandatory sessions follow last month's controversial arrests of two black men in Philadelphia.

Most closures appear to be starting at around 2:30 p.m. local time, according to Starbucks' website.

Starbucks is closing 8,000 company-owned USA stores at around 2pm local time on Tuesday for anti-bias training of 175,000 employees following a high-profile incident in which two black men were ejected from one of its cafes when a manager called in police. The manager called police because the two men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, were sitting in the store without placing an order. "If they don't take it that serious, I think that if they have to close down the store then that is something they have to do to get the message across", Rendon said outside her store on Lake Street in the Loop.

Trez Pugh owns Sip and Savor and took advantage of Starbucks closing by offering free coffee Tuesday morning, as well as 10% discounts to Starbucks customers this afternoon.

"Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have unconscious biases", Schultz said at the 2015 session held at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.

The CEO of Starbucks responded by announcing an anti-bias training for all 175,000 employees across the country.

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The stores will remain closed for the rest of the day as employees go through training on racial biases. The voiceover says, "That is not who we aspire to be".

Schultz said Starbucks had maintained a "loose policy" on bathroom access, though decisions were ultimately left up to store managers on whether someone could use them.

Turning away customers looking for an afternoon jolt of caffeine, Starbucks shops across the USA have begun closing up early to hold training for employees on recognizing hidden prejudices. Those two men told ABC's Robin Roberts they want to see long-term change.

Many locations in places like hotels, grocery stores and airports were still open Tuesday afternoon.

She said a Starbucks employee she spoke to on Tuesday pointed out that several black and Hispanic workers were "laughing through the book".

We're asking you: Instead of a reactionary treatment, do you think anti-bias training should be part of normal job training? So they sat at a table and waited for the person with whom they were scheduled to meet. Williams said the full curriculum will be made available to the public "after May 29", although Starbucks did not say exactly when or where it will be published.

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