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A sticky race for Starbucks

By Bethany Cobbs
On March 27, 2015

Photo from http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/v2_article_large/public/2015/03/19/starbucks-race-together.JPG?itok=X-klR5IT

A great change is coming to 12,000 Starbucks locations across the country and it is not to the menus. Rather than attempting to correctly spell customers’ names on their cups Starbucks baristas will be writing “#RaceTogether” as they implement a new campaign.

The new campaign encourages Starbucks employees to spark a new kind of conversations with customers. In light of the deaths of three unarmed African American young men in the past year and the many events in Ferguson, MO, America’s favorite coffee spot feels that it is time to tackle the “race issue” head on. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz believes that talking about racial issues is an important first step toward resolving them according to USA Today.

“Racial diversity is the story of America, our triumphs as well as our faults,” Schultz said. He and other Starbucks executives have stated and understand that this campaign in not a solution or an end to racial tensions and inequities in our country but talking about them is a necessary start.

Baristas were given sample questions to start conversations with customers in the event that they did not ask about what was on their cup, and they did ask was #RaceTogether was. Although the campaign was introduced just last week, its time has already come to an end.

The campaign and efforts by Starbucks will continue, however, the cup writing is a thing of the successful company’s past. USA Today states that writing #RaceTogether was only the first phase of Starbucks initiative that was intend to get a conversation started. The coffee brand plans to carry out this campaign by holding open forums in various cities to discuss race and issues surrounding it and adding more locations to urban areas of the country.

It is believed that the inscriptions came to an end on Sunday due to the enormous amount of attention and backlash it received on social media but a Starbucks spokesperson insisted that it came to an end “as originally planned.”

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