Hello Everyone:
A sign of true leadership is that leaders take action and that’s exactly what Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks did several months ago in which he had to abandon theRace Together talks a week later mainly because people couldn’t wrap their head around it at 8:00am as they ordered their coffee on the way to work.
The concept was courageous (see Paulo Coelho on NCM Blog post below) – only the format and time of day, etc. were problematic for people.  There should be no surprise that Howard Schultz is one of my favorite CEO’s and Starbucks is one of my favorite companies.
Along with former attorney general Eric Holder’s  “Nation of Cowards” speech back in 2009–Americans buried their heads in the sand especially the sad body of people called the U.S. Congress. (see NCM Blog  post below)
As President Obama stated in his remarks on South Carolina last week–at some point the American people are going to have to reckon with the truth.   (see NCM Blog  post below)
Howard Schultz, CEO Starbucks picking up where 
the conversation left off in March 2015

Three months ago, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was widely ridiculed for his idea to get people talking, over Starbucks coffee, about race relations in America. Though he quickly backtracked on a piece of the plan that would have had employees directly engaging customers in discussions about race, he isn’t abandoning the issue.

On Thursday, June 18, Schultz sent a memo to Starbucks employees in the US about the mass shooting that occurred the evening before in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The memo began:

“My heart is heavy for Charleston today and the senseless hate crime that has impacted not only that community, but our Starbucks family and our nation as a whole. Emanuel AME Church is a historic place of worship which has played a strong role in the civil rights movement. And, in times like these, we search for answers for how such a horrific act could happen. Now more than ever, I feel the need to reach out to each of you and express my concern, my disbelief and my hope that we can be there for the community and with one another to unite and to heal.”


Schultz was in Charleston, visiting two Starbucks coffee shops not far from the church and one on the campus of the College of Charleston.

.@Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz visiting CHS to support area store’s partners in wake of tragedy. It’s appreciated,sir  pic.twitter.com/MWREtXztMh  

— Seaton Brown (@seatonbrown) June 19, 2015

A Starbucks spokeswoman says Schultz met with about 75 employees during his visit, and says the company is “working to see what support we can provide to the local community.”  

At least some of the responses to Schultz’s efforts to confront the topic of race relations seem a little more receptive this time around.

​Howard Schultz conversing with customers and staff at one of the South Carolina
Starbucks he visited.  June 19, 2015
​A message on the chalk board at a Charleston Starbucks


Starbucks Howard Schultz Visits Partners in Charleston; Pledges Support for Victims’ Families

In addition to meeting with partners in three stores and listening to their stories during a partner forum, Schultz pledged that the Starbucks Foundation will donate $100,000 to two funds in the community. A $50,000 contribution will be made to the “Mother Emanuel Hope Fund,” established by the City of Charleston to help family members of the shooting victims pay for funerals, counseling and other needs. The other $50,000 will be directed to Lowcountry Ministries – Reverend Pinckney Fund to be used to support vulnerable populations and youth projects that Reverend Clementa Pinckney was passionate about.
Camille Mitchell

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