Today’s verdict and recommitting to the hard work ahead

In a letter to U.S. partners, Starbucks ceo Kevin Johnson reflects on the jury verdict in the murder trial of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin and Starbucks recommitment to the hard work ahead.

The murder of George Floyd is tragic, painful and heartbreaking. Today’s jury verdict in the murder trial of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin will not soothe the intense grief, fatigue and frustration so many of our Black and African American partners are feeling. Let me say clearly to you: We see you. We hear you. And you are not alone. Your Starbucks family hurts with you.

And while today’s verdict is a step forward in accountability, until we confront the ugly realities and root causes of what led us to this day, our people, our nation, will always fall short of their full potential. We know there is so much more work to do to address systemic racism in our society and create the change needed to ensure everyone has an equal chance to succeed and thrive.

This is an important time for us to be here for one another, to share perspectives, to listen to each other, and to commit ourselves to a more equitable tomorrow. We cannot sit on the sidelines as individuals nor as a company.

At Starbucks, we will continue to advance our work by focusing on greater inclusion, diversity and equity as partners, investing in the communities we serve, and partnering with community organizations to help ensure Starbucks remains a welcoming place for all.

We’re going to call a Partner Open Forum this week. We want to create space to honor the life of and acknowledge the injustice to George Floyd. An injustice too familiar to too many. We will be here for our partners in the Twin Cities and for each and every BIPOC Starbucks partner as we try to understand the systemic wrongs that lead to inequality.

We are 400,000 partners in 33,000 communities. We have the power to make a positive difference.

Your partner,