Starbucks tackles race relations with Race Together campaign

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Starbucks has made a name for itself by brewing up delicious coffee. Now the coffee giant is trying something new.

CEO Howard Schultz is encouraging customers and employees to discuss race.

“I know this is an emotional issue, but it’s so important to the country and we’re so much better as a people than we’re showing off in cities across America,” Schultz said in a video message announcing the new campaign.

In the next few days baristas at 12,000 Starbucks locations will initiate the race conversation by writing “Race Together” on customer cups.

According to Starbucks’ CEO, baristas don’t have to take part in the conversations if they don’t feel comfortable.

Right or wrong, sociologist Randy Blazak calls what Starbucks is doing courageous, risking profits to take on a big issue.

“I think the events of the last six months show us how deep the problem of racism is and how it persists in our society, and lack of dealing with it makes the problem worse,” he says.

Unfortunately, the company is receiving mostly negative reactions about the campaign.

At the end of the day, the man who started the conversation starter stands behind his motion to do so.

“This is about our conscious and what we believe is right and basically it’s trying to answer the question in the affirmative: how can we use our scale for good?” Schultz told ABC.

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