You’ll be getting your Starbucks coffee without a shot of race dialogue from here on out.
Just one week after launching the “Race Together” initiative to get Stabucks baristas talking to customers about racism and diversity, CEO Howard Shultz abruptly ended the campaign today, Rolling Stone reports.
“Our objective from the very start of this effort… was to stimulate conversation, empathy and compassion toward one another, and then to broaden that dialogue beyond just our Starbucks family to the greater American public by using our scale for good,” Schultz said in a memo.
Starbucks certainly didn’t get the results they expected. Almost immediately after “Race Together” was announced, social media began trending with jokes and criticisms of the Starbucks corporation for the poorly conceived campaign and for the absence of people of color on the board of directors.
“While there has been criticism of the initiative — and I know this hasn’t been easy for any of you — let me assure you that we didn’t expect universal praise,” Schultz said. “The heart of ‘Race Together’ has always been about humanity. We believed that starting this dialogue is what matters most. We are learning a lot.”
What did you think about the “Race Together” movement? Was it a good idea or was it destined for failure? Take our poll and sound off in the comments below with your thoughts on Starbucks’ attempt at social change.