By Aakriti Gupta
Elm Staff Writer
I am sure everyone’s heard of Starbucks and would agree to award them as the ultimate hero just for the amazing coffee that they provide for the early mornings and late nights. However, that’s not my reason for choosing Howard Schultz, the CEO, chairman, and guiding millionaire of Starbucks as the Hero of the Week. It was his initiative to the launch the RaceTogether national campaign.
This campaign encourages baristas to write racetogether on the cups handed out to customers and talk to them regarding racial discrimination in an effort to address the country’s racial tension. “As racially-charged tragedies unfolded in communities across the country, [Schultz] didn’t remain a silent bystander,” the company said. “Schultz voiced his concerns with partners [employees] in the company’s Seattle headquarters and started a discussion about race in America,” according to The Washington Post.
Unfortunately, this program was put on hold on March 23 due to a huge backlash from the public. While many have opposed this program and its intents, stating that it was mainly a marketing ploy, it was still admirable of Schultz to try to bring people together on an issue that grips our nation so tightly. If we can open a dialogue on this issue then we may be able to reach some common ground without reaching for each other’s throats.
Schultz could have easily donated thousands of dollars like other philanthropist entrepreneurs to improve the racial tension in the United States; but choosing to voice his concern within his day-to-day business leaves a much stronger impact. Failure does not negate his good intentions, especially with how he risked his reputation. Hence, this makes Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, the Hero of the Week.