Starbucks Overview of the Covington Assessment on Civil Rights, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


Updated February 24, 2020

Since the beginning, Starbucks has dedicated itself to be a different kind of company driven by our Mission & Values. We believe our work begins with a commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive third place; that is our most important role and responsibility, today and always.

On May 29, 2018 Starbucks closed more than 8,000 stores across the U.S. so 175,000 partners (employees) could join for a learning session on race, implicit bias and our recommitment to the third place. As our ceo Kevin Johnson said, this training session was “just one step in a journey” for us to grow as a company that elevates inclusion and equity in all we do.

In 2019, Starbucks commissioned Covington & Burling, under the leadership of former Attorney General Eric Holder, to conduct an assessment of Starbucks commitment to civil rights, equity, diversity and inclusion. This report assessed our current initiatives and long-standing efforts to be “a different kind of company,” one that strives to promote issues related to civil rights, for our workforce, our customers, and the communities we serve. We knew this assessment would help us on the journey to be more welcoming, but understood we needed to track progress over time to truly drive change.  

Today, a year after the original report, Starbucks published an update to that assessment, intended to help us continue to understand how we can best sustain the third place, foster an internal culture of equity and inclusion, and engage with our communities in more meaningful ways. 

This update includes a review of our progress over the last year and an overview of some of our newer initiatives including:

  • The rollout of enhanced training and other education resources for partners, including To Be Welcoming.
  • Starbucks commitment to open 100 stores in low-income communities by 2025
  • An updated look at the company’s enterprise workforce goals
  • Hiring Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, Nzinga Shaw

We continue to review and implement recommendations from this assessment and to consider new initiatives that can help us achieve our goals. As or our ceo Kevin Johnson said in a letter to partners today, this aspiration requires “daily commitment, investment, and the recognition that standing up for others, creating a safe space for our partners to be themselves, including diverse points of views in our decisions as a company, and being a voice for our partners – these are all quite literally examples of what it means to inspire and nurture the human spirit.”  

We are committed to evolving our strategies as we learn, and we’re committed to holding ourselves accountable with our partners, our customers and the communities we serve, so that as a company we fulfill our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, cup and neighborhood at a time.

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