Two African-American men who were arrested for using Starbucks as a meeting point in Philadelphia, have now reached a settlement with the company.
Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, both 23, were filmed by onlookers while being arrested by police, who were notified by a store manager. The actions taken were reportedly related to ‘company policy’, which prevents individuals from using the notorious coffee chain as a meeting point with no purchases made. However, both staff and members of the public are aware that this apparent policy is hardly ever enforced in any of Starbucks’ stores. Protests and organised boycotts of Starbucks’ products began in Pennsylvania as an expression of outrage towards the footage and the detectable racial discrimination it displayed.
But now, almost a month later, Nelson and Robinson have settled with Starbucks for a confidential amount. The legal action that the pair had planned to take against the city has been dropped in exchange for a dedication to funding a £150,000 entrepreneurship programme for public school students.
“We all recognise the importance of communication about differences and solutions, and that we will be measured by our action, not words,” Nelson and Robinson agreed in a joint statement.
Starbucks reportedly offered to pay the full extent of tuition fees for both men’s undergraduate degrees at Arizona state university in addition to an official apology. The company also has plans to close down 8000 of it’s US stores to conduct training on racial bias.