A new Starbucks initiative could open up the national conversation on race relations simply through two words written on your cup of coffee.
The Race Together initiative, launched this week through ads in the New York Times and USA Today, was created by the company to bring awareness to the issue of race in the U.S. If a barista writes “Race Together” on a customer’s beverage, it means he or she wants to talk about the sensitive subject over a cup of coffee, Fortune reports.
“We at Starbucks should be willing to talk about these issues in America,” CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement on Starbucks’ website. Schultz quoted an unnamed employee who compared racism to “humidity.”
“You can’t see it, but you feel it.”
Response to the initiative was mixed, with some saying race was too sensitive a subject to be the focal point of such a public initiative, especially spearheaded by a business as big as Starbucks.
“I reject that. I reject that completely,” Schultz said. “It’s an emotional issue. But it is so vitally important to the country.”
On Twitter, reaction to the initiative launch stretched from skeptical to highly critical.
One Twitter user described the initiative as “feel-good liberalism.”
What do you think of Starbucks’ new Race Together initiative?
Photo Credit: Twitter via TheBlaze, Justin Brown/Flickr