Diversity

The Apology Letter Howard Schultz And Starbucks Should Write For The ‘Race Together’ Initiative

“I am a reflection of the community. I am not saying I am going to rule the world or that I am going to change the world. But I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” — Tupac

Starbucks Holds Annual Shareholders Meeting
Starbucks Holds Annual Shareholders Meeting – Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Recently, we co-launched an initiative with USA Today called “Race Together.” To say the least, this initiative created quite a stir in the social media sphere. We would like to issue a formal apology on behalf of our CEO, company, and partners. Many of these words have already been stated in an internal memo, but we would like to better communicate our goals to you as we hope to learn from your perspectives as well.

Dear Public,

Since December, we have been hosting Partner Open Forums to discuss issues of race, prejudice, and lack of economic opportunity. Time and time again at these forums, the singular question was asked, “what more can we do?” We believe the ultimate answer lies in a better understanding of our community.

We believe Starbucks could have the greatest impact on our communities by creating more empathy, compassion and understanding in our society. On March 16, we invited partners to write “Race Together” or “Together” on cups for three reasons:

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