As of today, Starbucks employees will no longer be writing “#RaceTogether” on cups, so it looks like you’ve missed your opportunity to end racism by harassing your local barista. Company spokesperson Jim Olson claimed that the campaign wasn’t called off because of the huge backlash, telling the Associated Press that writing on cups was “just the catalyst” for the company’s broader campaign. In a company memo, CEO Howard Schultz said that, in the coming weeks, the company will continue hosting various events on racism, hiring opportunity youth (16- to 24-year-olds who aren’t in school or employed), and “expanding our store footprint in urban communities across the country.”
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. The heart of Race Together has always been about humanity: the promise of the American Dream should be available to every person in this country, not just a select few. We leaned in because we believed that starting this dialogue is what matters most. We are learning a lot. And will always aim high in our efforts to make a difference on the issues that matter most.
In other words: “Thanks to all those baristas who fielded awkward questions from journalists last week. We’ll take it from here.”