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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.   


  1. Nigg.Newton on March 24, 2015 at 10:33 am


  2. Jason on March 24, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    AMEN – economic empowerment. Blacks need to focus on businesses not silly conversations about race. IF Starbuck’s really cares – they will back more business loans/grants to get some BLACK franchisees. I say BLACK because IF they do this – everyone will all of a sudden want to be in the coffee game (LGBT, WOMEN, Hispanics, Humpbacks, etc.)

    • Randy on March 24, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      Starbucks doesn’t franchise their stores like most of the fast food chains. The stores are all company owned. They should be using diverse firms to:
      1. purchase and manage their real estate
      2. Handle their outside legal work.
      3. Handle their CPA, investment banking and related work
      4 Provide some of the products that they sell in the stores.
      5. Hire a greater percentage of management level employers
      6. Hire black professionals in PR (they wouldn’t have had this disaster)
      7. Bring in a representative amount of minority executives inside the organization

  3. derel on March 24, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    1. The Magic/Starbucks were really in name only…but, did establish a number in black neighborhoods and created jobs.
    2. They have eliminated an effort towards supplier diversity 3 times in the past decade. They were never serious and that continues to be the case. That is a way for economic empowerment.
    3.They need to look at McDonalds and what they have done with franchising and minority supplier development.
    4. What Schultz wanted to do was simply a marketing plan gone bad.

  4. REALSOUL4 on March 24, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    It’s the right thing to do….that’s why.