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Howard Schultz Wants You To Start Talking About Race

Courtesy of Starbucks


Starbucks’ C.E.O., Howard Schultz, says it’s time for Americans to start talking about a subject that makes most people very uncomfortable: race. On Friday, there will be an eight page pull-out in USA Today, and in Starbucks’ company owned stores across the U.S.

The publication will be sort of a primer on race relations and will include conversation starters, such as the question, “How many times in the last year have you been to the home of someone who is a different race from you?”


This is all a part of the company’s Race Together Initiative announced earlier this week that involves writing the words “Race Together” on coffee cups. Participation is optional.


“If a Starbucks partner doesn’t want to write it, if a customer doesn’t want to take it, they don’t have to. We’ll make them another beverage or we’ll cover it up.The point is that the Starbucks Coffee Company realized that the rules of engagement with regards to this issue in America must change,” said C.E.O. Howard Schultz.


The Race Together campaign has been roundly criticized on social media. One Starbucks executive even took down his own twitter account because it was being bombarded with negative comments.

Schultz said Starbucks is not going to solve the racial divide in America but will try to make a difference. Over the next three years the company plans to hire 10,000 disconnected youth who are mostly of color.


Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.