Starbucks Wants Its Baristas To Chat With Customers About Race

March 17, 2015 11:19 am

In what has already become a widely-mocked move on social media, Starbucks on Monday announced an initiative to encourage baristas to strike up conversations with customers about “racial issues” in America.

Part of a new initiative called “Race Together,” the idea came out of “forums” within the company, according to a post on the Starbucks website.

Following the cue of CEO Howard Schultz, the company said it would do its part to encourage constructive dialogue following “racial unrest from Ferguson, Missouri to New York City to Oakland.”

The company said employees all over the country would be asked to start writing the slogan “Race Together” on customers’ cups.

The company also said it will begin encouraging employees to begin “conversations” with customers on the subject of race.

“Baristas in cities where the forums were held said they wanted to do something tangible to encourage greater understanding, empathy and compassion toward one another,” the post read.

“Given their willingness to discuss race relations, many partners wanted to begin conversations with their customers too,” it said.

Fortune reported that 40 percent of Starbucks workers are members of a racial minority. Meanwhile, PayScale listed that self-reported salaries from Starbucks baristas range from $7.63 to $10.93 an hour.

Many on social media responded with more than a dose of cynicism:

h/t Fortune

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