The Third Place: Our Commitment, Renewed

A conversation and learning session on race, bias, and creating an environment that is welcoming to all.


On May 29, we closed 8,000 Starbucks stores in the United States for four hours—so 175,000 Starbucks partners could come together for a conversation and learning session on racial bias.

This was a foundational step in renewing Starbucks as a place where ALL people feel welcome. Starbucks partners shared life experiences, heard from others, listened to experts on bias and racial anxiety, reflecting on the realities of bias in our society and talking about how all of us can work together to create public spaces where everyone feels like they belong.

The Team Guidebook

The guidebook was designed for groups of three to five Starbucks partners to work through the learning session at their own pace—self-directed versus heavily moderated. Each module in the guidebook follows the same pattern—some form of inspiration (a film, a look into mind science, a leader sharing a story) followed by self- or group reflection and a chance to practice.

The Personal Notebook

A personal and private tool for partners to self-reflect on behavior and the realities of bias in our society.

The Videos

Films and documentaries to stimulate both a new understanding and a will to act.

Video 1:
Starbucks evp Rossann Williams on showing your respect today
To be played on p7 of the Guidebook.

Video 2:
Starbucks president and ceo Kevin Johnson on why we are here today
To be played on p9 of the Guidebook.

Video 3:
Common—Making Others Feel Welcome
To be played on p10 of the Guidebook.

Video 4:
Howard Schultz—Who We Are, Who We Aspire to Be
To be played on p19 of the Guidebook.

Video 5:
Common—What it Feels Like to Belong
To be played on p20 of the Guidebook.

Video 6:
Mellody, Alexis, Rachel & Fred—Understanding Bias
To be played on p23 of the Guidebook.

Video 7:
Common—Seeing Your Own Bias
To be played on p24 of the Guidebook.

Video 8:
Filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s documentary on the story of access to public spaces in America
To be played on p31 of the Guidebook.


This independently created film by Stanley Nelson was underwritten by Starbucks with the intent of educating our partners about the history of access to public spaces for African-Americans. The film explores the impact of bias within public accommodations as well as the possibilities for a better future. The film is integrated into the curriculum and discussion materials that are shared with Starbucks partners (employees).

Download the documentary.

Video 9:
Kevin, Roz, Vivian & Rossann—Systematic Bias

Video 10:
Rossann & Partners—Wearing the Green Apron
To be played on p37 of the Guidebook.

Video 11:
Audio—Woman in Dirty Sweatpants Lingering Near Retail Cups
To be played on p51 of the Guidebook.

Video 12:
Audio—Scruffy Man Approaches Woman in the Line
To be played on p51 of the Guidebook.

Video 13:
Audio—Woman with Dirty Cup Asks for Refill
To be played on p51 of the Guidebook.

Video 14:
Audio—Worrying About the Tip Jar
To be played on p51 of the Guidebook.

Video 15:
Audio—Confusion About a Customer's Gender
To be played on p51 of the Guidebook.

Video 16:
Audio—Large Group of Students Come in at Once
To be played on p51 of the Guidebook.

Video 17:
Audio—Customer with a Thick Accent
To be played on p51 of the Guidebook.

Video 18:
Audio—Customer Tries to Return Something Without a Receipt
To be played on p51 of the Guidebook.

Video 19:
Roz—What to Expect Tomorrow
To be played on p59 of the Guidebook.

Video 20:
Fred—What Each Store Can Do
To be played on p63 of the Guidebook.

Video 21:
Kevin—Sticking With It
To be played on p67 of the Guidebook.

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