Update: After retaliation, Starbucks to give all employees Black Lives Matter t-shirts

New T-Shirt Design released by Starbucks

News: Starbucks is reversing its position that had prohibited employees from wearing paraphernalia, such as T-shirts or pins, supporting the “Black Lives Matter” movement. It now states that it will be delivering t shirts that say “Black Lives Matter” to all of its employees.

Here are five components of the story:

  • Although the company publicly supports “Black Lives Matter” on its social media channels and in a press release, an internal memo to employees obtained by BuzzFeed News earlier this week explains that Starbucks wouldn’t let baristas do the same.
  • But on June 12, Starbucks reversed its stance, saying they can wear a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt or pin until new branded shirts are delivered to 200,000 employees that includes the phrase.
  • “This movement is a catalyst for change, and right now, it’s telling us a lot of things need to be addressed so we can make space to heal,” Starbucks said in a publicly shared letter to employees announcing the new T-shirt design, as shown in the featured image above.
  • In a new statement, Starbucks said it’s “critical to support the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement as its founders intended and will continue to work closely with community leaders, civil rights leaders, organizations, and our partners to understand the role that Starbucks can play, and to show up in a positive way for our communities.”
  • The death of George Floyd in police custody sparked nationwide and international protests and major companies spoke out in support of racial injustices, including Starbucks. The company said publicly on Twitter that it’s donating $1 million to organizations “promoting racial equity and more inclusive and just communities.”
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