Howard Schultz on Civil Rights


Better race relations starts with conversation

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is encouraging the company's 191,000 employees to talk about race in America and other issues raised by police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson MO and New York City. "The last few weeks, I have felt a burden of personal responsibility," Schultz told the crowd. "Not about the company, but about what's going on in America." He was referring to protests that have spread since grand juries failed to indict white police officers in the [two recent] killings. Schultz [penned a] letter afterwards, entitled, "It Starts With Conversation":

"Many shared personal experiences & offered ideas about how to move the conversation, our company & our country forward. People spoke with such conviction and vulnerability. Everyone demonstrated compassion and personal courage. The Forum was at times uncomfortable, yet overall it was enlightening. It provided many of us, myself included, with a deeper understanding around issues of race and the realities facing our country.

Source: Huffington Post, "Starbucks and Race" , Dec 17, 2014

Support AIDS programs and employee AIDS walks

Community events and sponsorships became an ongoing part of our marketing work, in part to build awareness but also because we believe it's the right thing to do. In addition to our support of CARE, we try to be sensitive to local issues, with our main emphasis on supporting AIDS programs; children's causes, especially children's hospitals; the environment (clean water); and the arts. For the past several years, 300 to 400 Starbucks partners and customers have marched in Seattle's annual AIDS walk.
Source: Pour Your Heart Into It, by Howard Schultz, p.255-256 , Jan 6, 1999

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Page last updated: Apr 27, 2015