Rolling Out

Why Starbucks should promote executive diversity and Black ownership to help race relations


Starbucks’ “Race Together” initiative came and went within a span of two weeks. The program, which attempted to spark racial dialogue with Starbucks drinkers by writing “Race Together” on cups, will no longer be used by the company.

Of course, racial issues that continue to haunt America should be discussed in places where change can occur. But Starbucks has a greater duty than beginning the dialogue.

The company, which is reportedly worth $73 billion, should use its resources in other ways to help with racial inequality. Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz announced that the company will begin implementing a plan that will hire 10,000 teens and young adults who are unemployed or not enrolled in school. It’s actually an initiative that appears to be great in theory.

However, Starbucks must do more than provide jobs, they must find ways to offer better opportunities. The best way to offer an opportunity is to provide more minorities with executive positions and to offer programs that would enlist more minority owners.

According to statistics compiled by Colorlines, only three of Starbucks’ 19 executives are Black. Magic Johnson once had stake in 100 Starbucks across the nation, but he has since sold his stake back to Starbucks.

With more Black executives and owners within its organization, Starbucks could really begin to confront the issue of race and inequality in America.   

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