Last month, two Black men were at a Starbucks waiting for a friend to arrive when the store's manager chose to call the police on them due to the fact they hadn't ordered anything and "refused to leave." The incident, which led to both men being arrested, swiftly made national headlines, with many sounding off in disgust that these men of color were arrested for something that non-POC do on a regular basis at the coffeehouse chain.
After Starbucks apologized for the racial profiling the two men experienced at the Philadelphia location, the company also pledged to close its stores on May 29th to offer diversity training to its nearly 175,000 employees. Additionally, the two men settled with the city of Philadelphia in court today (May 2), opting for a solution that many are commending on social media as selfless and admirable.
According to reports, the two men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, settled for a symbolic $1 each, in exchange for the company and city officials promising to set up a $200,000 program dedicated to fostering young entrepreneurs. All involved parties agreed to work together to "develop specific actions and opportunities."
"We thought long and hard about it and we feel like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see," Robinson shared in a statement. "It's not a right-now thing that's good for right now, but I feel like we will see the true change over time."
In addition to reaching the settlement, their arrest record will also be expunged. Following their arrest, they were released and no charges were filed.
"I am pleased to have resolved the potential claims against the city in this productive manner," Mayor Jim Kenney shared with reporters. "This was an incident that evoked a lot of pain in our city and put us under a national spotlight for unwanted reasons."
According to reports, the entrepreneur program will be established for public high school students in Philadelphia.