Starbucks: We want at-risk youth working in our stores — opening locations in Engelwood, Ferguson, elsewhere

Starbucks: We want at-risk youth working in our stores — opening locations in Engelwood, Ferguson, elsewhere

One of the best-known companies on the planet is trying to fix its "#RaceTogether" mess with a real push to address racial inequality in America.

It was definitely one of the great PR disasters in the last few years: Starbucks “#RaceTogether” campaign that attempted to spark conversation about race but instead drew ridicule is in the past — now, the company wants to do some real good by reaching out to “underserved” youth.

The company this week announced that it would pursuing two new initiatives that would seek to make a real difference when it comes to racial inequality in the United States, according to a Washington Post report.

Starbucks announced it would open 15 stores in low-income neighborhoods, including in Ferguson where Michael Brown was shot, causing a national uproar and conversation about race.

Other new stores will open in Milwaukee, Queens in New York, and the South Side of Chicago.

Blair Taylor, who serves as the chief community officer for Starbucks and also sits as the chair of the Starbucks Foundation, said according to the report that the company wants to be a “part of the solution” and create a future for those who “may be looking for a second chance.”

In addition, Starbucks wants to tackle the problem of youth unemployment, particularly a problem among black youth.

The #RaceTogether campaign was a short-lived one for the Starbucks brand. It was launched on March 16 of this year, and was intended to promote conversations about race between customers and employees in the wake of fresh uproar over numerous fatal encounters between black people and white police officers in the last few months. Baristas were instruted to draw “#RaceTogether” on the cups of customers in what was seen as a clumsy attempt to drive discussion on race. It lasted just six days: on March 22, Starbucks’ CEO advised employees that they no longer needed to write the hashtag on the cups. The company later said it had always planned that the campaign would only last a few days.

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