Hattiesburg Starbucks to take part in nationwide diversity training

HATTIESBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) - If you were planning to stop by Starbucks for an afternoon pick-me-up Tuesday, you'll need to make new plans.

The Starbucks on Hardy Street in Hattiesburg is one of about 8,000 stores closing Tuesday afternoon for racial bias training.

The company is going through the diversity training after two African American men were arrested and removed by police from a Starbucks in Philadelphia last month.

The store manager reported the two men were trespassing because they had not ordered anything.  The incident, captured on social media, sparked outrage and protests.  Starbucks reached a financial settlement with the two men.

Starbucks also created a new policy following the incident, now allowing anyone, a paying customer or not, to use the restrooms.

The training is closed to the media, but Starbucks released this video on its website to detail the curriculum more than 175,000 employees will take part in.

Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz told CNN Tuesday morning that he doesn't expect the problem to be solved with one training session.

"We realize that four hours of training is not going to solve racial inequity in America or anyone coming into our stores that may have a problem," said Schultz.  "But we have to start the conversation. We've also said that we are deeply committed to this being a long-term journey in which we are going to integrate this training not only in every Starbucks store from this point on but also the on-boarding of 100,000 new people a year."