Episode 37: Starbucks' 'Race Together' Campaign

White people control almost 90 percent of the nation’s wealth.
— Starbucks on Friday, March 20th, 2015 in a newspaper advertisement
‘Race Together’ grew out of concerns over police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and New York. In announcing the campaign, Schultz called it “an opportunity to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society – one conversation at a time.
— Tom Kertscher of Politifact, March 31, 2015
Most Starbucks baristas simply don’t have the time to discuss anything other than coffee with customers. Amid responsibilities like taking orders, working the registers, making complicated drink orders, and preparing food from the company’s newly expanded menu, there is no time to write extra words on cups — much less entertain a debate on race relations.
— Hayley Peterson of Business Insider, March 29, 2015

Spurred by an article in the March 23rd edition of Advertising Age, we felt it would be pertinent to work through some of the issues facing the 'Race Together' campaign. While we applaud Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for his attempt at being progressive, we highlight issues regarding the Catch 22 for workers, the intended speed of fast food and the complexity of commercial influence.

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The article in question from Advertising Age which inspired this episode.

The article in question from Advertising Age which inspired this episode.

The memo distributed by Starbucks to its employees

The memo distributed by Starbucks to its employees