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Aruba, May 28, 2018 - Black leaders who are advising Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) on its anti-bias training program, which begins Tuesday, hope it will reinvigorate decades-old efforts to ensure minorities get equal treatment in restaurants and stores, setting an example for other corporations.

Starbucks committed to the training after a Philadelphia cafe manager€'s call to police resulted in the arrests of two black men who were waiting for a friend. The arrests sparked protests and accusations of racial profiling at the coffee chain known for its liberal stances on social issues such as same-sex marriage.

Anti-bias training is intended to get participants to recognize their own unconscious biases and avoid unintentional discrimination.

Starbucks is closing 8,000 company-owned U.S. stores at around 2 pm local time on Tuesday as a first step in training 175,000 employees on racial tolerance. Some 6,000 licensed Starbucks cafes will remain open in locations such as grocery stores and airports, and those employees will be trained at a later time.

Starbucks€ training could have a lasting impact on its employees€ behavior and pave the way for other companies to finally tackle racism in their own eateries and shops, said Heather McGhee, president of public policy group Demos.

McGhee said one of her earliest memories as a black girl was being chased from a penny candy store by a white store manager.

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