UPDATED: March 17, 2015 1:08 p.m.
WASHINGTON (WNEW) — The coffee company on every corner known for its green and white logo and pumpkin spice lattes now wants to serve up a side of serious dialogue with your coffee.
Starbucks announced on its website Monday that CEO Howard Schultz wants to start a discussion about race in America amid “racial unrest from Ferguson, Missouri to New York City to Oakland.”
“We at Starbucks should be willing to talk about these issues in America,” Schultz said. “Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are.”
Starbucks is partnering with USAToday to launch a week-long ‘Race Together’ campaign to encourage its employees to talk with customers about race.
USAToday reports baristas at 12,000 of the coffee mecca’s locations are writing Race Together on cups to spark the conversation, but Starbucks says employees can opt out of the campaign.
The publication is also putting out a Race Together supplement on Friday.
It’s also promoting #RaceTogether on Twitter.
But not everyone seems to be on board with the campaign:
Starbucks to talk race relations with customers, making every request to 'take it black' exceptionally awkward.— (((Mark Campbell))) (@MrWordsWorth) March 17, 2015
Sounds like @Starbucks is trying to start some race wars one 18 year old snotty barista at a time.— Samantha (@Janiece1986) March 17, 2015
Hmm, not sure I understand the current nuances of race relations in US. I know, let's grab $20 & go to Starbucks to see what barista says...— HB (@EYA10) March 17, 2015
UPDATE: Business Insider reports that a Starbucks executive has deleted his Twitter account after backlash about the campaign.
WNEW spoke with an employee at the M St. SE location who says he has not heard of the campaign.
There’s no word yet on whether any other locations in the D.C. area are participating.
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