Milestones: Starbucks efforts to support racial equity and justice

From our earliest days, diversity and inclusion have been at the heart of how we do business. It is reflected in Our Mission and Values, which is dedicated to creating a culture of belonging where everyone is welcome. We are working closely with community leaders, civil rights leaders, organizations that promote racial equity and our partners to uphold our commitment to make a positive contribution to our communities.

Here is a review of key milestones marking the company’s commitment to racial justice and social equity.

January 2022

Starbucks announces launch of a leadership accelerator program beginning with BIPOC partners, focused on empowering partner capacity for self-promotion, advocacy and career navigation.

Starbucks sets goals to increase annual spend with diverse suppliers to $1.5B by 2030.

Starbucks announces it will issue $21 million to seven community development financial institutions (CDFIs) as part of its Community Resilience Fund.

The Starbucks Foundation shares impact results from its more than $5 million investment in eight nonprofits supporting BIPOC youth, reported to support more than 100,000 youth across the country.

November 2021

Starbucks graduates first cohort of partners in the inaugural mentorship program.

July 2021

Starbucks donates $1.7 million to Feeding America to support equitable food access grants, designed to help food banks provide nutritious food to households with BIPOC individuals residing in communities experiencing high rates of food insecurity.

March 2021

Publishes third civil rights assessment

Starbucks publishes its third Civil Rights Assessment conducted by Covington & Burling LLP under the leadership of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. The report is an objective evaluation that 1) provides a factual and honest review of the company’s journey in inclusion, diversity and equity and 2) helps track progress over time to drive truly lasting change. Read the report here.

Achieves 100% pay equity

Starbucks shared that last year it once again achieved and maintained 100% pay equity by race and gender for similar roles in the U.S. Learn more about reasons for the gender pay gap and the best practices and tools Starbucks uses to close the gap here.

January 2021

Invests in BIPOC businesses and communities

Starbucks announces plan to invest $100 million to create the Starbucks Community Resilience Fund focused on advancing racial equity and environmental resilience by supporting small business growth and community development projects in BIPOC neighborhoods.

Partners with Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, Starbucks partners with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to share the museum’s educational resources and digital initiatives like the Freedmen’s Bureau Transcription Project.

October 2020

Starbucks shares next steps it’s taking to advance racial and social equity as part of its ongoing journey to create a welcoming and inclusive Third Place.

BIPOC commitments

  • Launching a mentorship program connecting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) partners to senior leaders and investing in strategic partnerships with professional organizations that focus on the development of BIPOC talent.
  • Disclosing data reflecting the diversity of our current workforce
  • Setting and tracking annual inclusion and diversity goals of achieving BIPOC representation of at least 30 percent at all corporate levels and at least 40 percent of all retail and manufacturing roles by 2025.  
  • Connecting the building of inclusive and diverse teams to our executive compensation program.
  • Joining peer organizations in the Board Diversity Action Alliance committed to racially and ethnically diverse representation on corporate boards of directors.
  • Establishing Inclusion and Diversity Executive Council to provide internal governance to integrate inclusion and diversity throughout the organization.  

In addition, the company announced the rollout of $1.5 million in Neighborhood Grants from The Starbucks Foundation prioritizing grassroots and community-based nonprofit organizations focused on local impact. These grants aim to uplift organizations led by and that serve Black communities and will support more than 400 local nonprofit organizations across the country. The Foundation will also invest $5 million to launch a two-year initiative focused on supporting nonprofits that serve BIPOC youth.   

June 2020

Black lives matter

Starbucks stands in solidarity against racial injustice with Black partners, community and customers.

$1M in grants to promote racial equity

The Starbucks Foundation commits $1 million in Neighborhood Grants to promote racial equity and create more inclusive and just communities. Nominated by Starbucks partners, and with input from civil rights leaders, these grants will support efforts in over 100 cities and towns across the United States.


Starbucks recognizes Juneteenth as an annual U.S. company holiday.

May 2020

Community Stores

Starbucks marks the milestone of opening 16 Community Stores in underserved neighborhoods with the newest Community Store, in the historic Anacostia area of Washington, D.C. Since launching the initiative in 2015, Starbucks has opened Community Stores in cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Dallas, and Ferguson, Mo., and has set a goal to open 100 Community Stores by 2025.

Courageous conversations

Starbucks launches an internal series of courageous conversations with thousands of partners and their families coming together virtually to join a talk about the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. These conversations will address difficult topics and help increase partners’ understanding of themselves and others.

February 2020

Publishes civil rights assessment

Starbucks shares the 2019 assessment on Civil Rights, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion conducted by Covington & Burling LLP, under the leadership of the former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The report, which reviews the company’s progress since the 2018 report, evaluates Starbucks ongoing efforts to promote equity, diversity and inclusion in support of the company’s Mission and Values.

January 2020

Hires company’s first chief inclusion and diversity officer

Starbucks appoints Nzinga “Zing” Shaw to serve as the company’s first chief inclusion and diversity officer.

November 2019

Equal pay for people of color

Starbucks shares its median pay gaps by gender and race in the United States. In the U.S., the median pay ratio is 100 percent for people of color. Here’s how Starbucks is working to address pay equity.

October 2019

$10M to Chicago neighborhoods

Starbucks announces it will invest $10 million to support entrepreneurs, small business owners and nonprofits in Chicago. The loan will be distributed by a network of mission-based lenders called community development financial institutions, which work to revitalize struggling neighborhoods on the city’s south and west sides.

September 2019

Free anti-bias curriculum

Starbucks launches its “To Be Welcoming” Curriculum, in partnership with Arizona State University. The free 15-course online curriculum addresses bias and encourages more meaningful conversations around our shared human experience.

May 2019

‘The Story of Access’

The company shares publicly on its website Stanley Nelson’s film, ”The Story of Access,” which explores the history of people of color in public places.

January 2019

Zero-tolerance for discrimination

Starbucks publishes its principles on upholding the third place. This public statement describes the key principles and responsibilities of creating a welcoming space for all, including our zero-tolerance position on discrimination.

May 2018

Closing stores for bias training

The company closes 8,000 stores in the U.S. for company-wide implicit bias training and makes the curriculum publicly available.

New Third Place policy

Starbucks announces its Use of the Third Place policy, defining a customer as anyone who enters a Starbucks space regardless of whether they make a purchase.

April 2018


Two African American men are arrested in a Starbucks Philadelphia store. Kevin Johnson, Starbucks chief executive officer, calls the outcome “reprehensible” and publicly apologizes, saying, “This is not who we are.”

March 2018

Pay equity

Starbucks announces it has reached 100 percent pay equity across race and gender for U.S. partners performing similar work and sets a global goal.

March 2017

Expands hiring of underserved youth

After reaching the initial goal of 10,000 hires by 2018, Starbucks expands its Opportunity Youth commitment to 100,000  hires.

July/ November 2016

My Brother’s Keeper

Starbucks supports the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, with events in Oakland in July and Detroit in November focused on creating coalitions and hiring and creating pathways to opportunity for Black men.

April 2016

Signs White House Fair Chance Business Pledge

Starbucks helps eliminate barriers for those with a criminal record by signing the Obama administration’s White House Fair Chance Business Pledge.

March 2016

Opens first Community Store

Starbucks opens its first Community Store in Jamaica, Queens, N.Y. with a commitment to open at least 15 stores with the aim of creating new jobs, engaging local women and minority-owned vendors and suppliers and collaborating with local nonprofits to support training opportunities for youth in diverse, underserved U.S. communities.

December 2015

Commitment to acting with courage

Starbucks updates Our Mission and Values, with focus on inclusion and action. It states, “With our partners, our coffee and our customers at our core, we live these values … Acting with courage, challenging the status quo and finding new ways to grow our company and each other.”

August 2015

‘Just Mercy’

Starbucks stores in the U.S. carry Bryan Stevenson’s book, “Just Mercy”, donating 100 percent of the profits from the book sales to the Equal Justice Initiative.

Opportunity Fair & Forum

Starbucks supports the launch of the first-ever Opportunity Fair & Forum in Chicago, and would go on to host events in PhoenixLos AngelesSeattleDallasWashington, D.C. and Atlanta, resulting in more than 5,000 on-the-spot job offers. The event also marks the official launch of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a coalition of Starbucks and leading companies committed to engaging 100,000 young people in jobs, internships and apprenticeships.

July 2015

‘Ban the Box’

Starbucks writes Sen. Cory Booker in support of “ban the box” legislation to extend a fair chance to millions of Americans.

June 2015

Supporting people of Charleston

Starbucks leaders visit Charleston, S.C., following the shooting that took the lives of nine people in a historic church.

Opportunity Youth Commitment

Starbucks commits to hiring at least 10,000 Opportunity Youth by 2018.

March 2015

Race Together

Starbucks seeks to broaden the dialog about race in America with an initiative aimed at stimulating conversation, empathy and compassion toward one another. Publishes a conversation guide about race in USA Today.

December 2014

Starbucks holds Partner Open Forum at the company’s Seattle headquarters to discuss racial tension in America. It would be the first of many held in cities across the country.

August 2014

Committing to Ferguson

Starbucks leaders visit Ferguson, Mo., committing to help the community rebuild after unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police. Starbucks opens its first store in Ferguson, Mo., in April 2016, part of its new Community Store program.

October 2013

Creates new community-based model

Starbucks creates a store partnership model with community organizations who share in the profits of a store in Harlem, New York and Los Angeles.

May 2012

Appoints first chief community officer

Starbucks names Blair Taylor,former President and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, as first chief community officer.


Adopts new mission statement

The company adopts a new mission statement with commitment to Starbucks partners that “Together, we embrace diversity to create a place where each of us can be ourselves.”


Black Partner Network formed

The Black Partner Network is officially recognized as one of the first Partner Networks, with the mission for sharing the heritage of the African diaspora to develop partners, advise our business and enrich Starbucks contribution to our customers and communities.


Urban Coffee Opportunities

The first Urban Coffee Opportunities store opens, part of joint-venture partnership with Magic Johnson to create economic opportunity and a stronger sense of community in underserved neighborhoods. During the 12-year partnership, more than 100 UCO locations opened in cities including Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.


Underscores commitment to diversity

Starbucks adds a new pillar to the company’s mission statement to “Embrace diversity as an essential component in the way we do business.”


Unveils Mission statement

The company releases its first mission statement, “To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles as we grow.”


Opening our doors

Starbucks opens its first store, in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.