Major Coffee Chain Shutting Down Stores in Mississauga Temporarily

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If you're known to grab a quick caffeinated beverage for an afternoon pick-me-up, you'll want to mark your calendar - a major coffee chain is shutting down for a few hours in June.

And it's for an interesting cause.

According to The Canadian Press, Starbucks is closing all of its Canadian stores and offices in the afternoon on June 11, 2018 for a few hours, for its employees to receive unconscious bias training.

The upcoming closure comes about a month after two black men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia on April 12.

The men were reportedly refused permission to use the washroom at the Starbucks location. According to Philadelphia police, employees at the location called 911 when the men refused to leave.

In the dispatch call, an individual says the men were inside "causing a disturbance."

In a video that was made public, officers arrest the men while some customers say the men were not doing anything wrong.

"Starbucks has said the coffee shop where the arrests occurred has a policy that restrooms are for paying customers only, but the company has no overall policy," reads the Canadian Press article. "The men's attorney, Stewart Cohen, said they were illegally profiled."

The arrest prompted protests and more backlash against the coffee giant.

On May 29 in the afternoon this year, Starbucks will close its more than 8,000 U.S. stores for 175,000 employees to receive unconscious bias training. Starbucks has now decided to follow suit at its more than 1,200 locations in Canada.

Robinson and Nelson have since received apologies from Philadelphia's police commissioner and Starbucks' CEO Kevin Johnson.

The men reached a settlement agreement in early May with Starbucks.

"The agreement between the parties stems from the arrest of Robinson and Nelson at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia on April 12 and includes a confidential financial settlement as well as a commitment to continued listening and dialogue between the parties as a means toward developing specific actions and opportunities," reads a recent statement from Starbucks.

"Robinson and Nelson intend to focus the public reaction to their arrest toward providing opportunities for young people from underserved communities."

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