Corporate leaders often balk when faced with controversy. At OutJustice our team has worked on a wide array of social justice issues. Our leadership brings a lot to the professional advocacy table, including extensive experience taking on tough topics and “uphill battles.”
We welcome a challenge.
Of course, we know that many politicians lie, often prosecutors make deals that mean even less “justice” than what the law provides, human resources departments can be shady, and politics is usually what rules the roost no matter where that “roost” sits.
Politics is everywhere; but, sometimes we are surprised in a good way. This week we are pleased with Starbucks.
Starbucks is a company with quite a bit of power. The company stood by equality in the past.
It’s commendable. It’s brave.
It’s the right thing to do.
According to the Huffington Post,
Mega coffee chain Starbucks has once again inserted its brand into the social and political arena. This time, its CEO Howard Schultz has taken a public stand on same sex marriage by telling an anti-gay investor that he’s not welcomed.
Starbucks, already known for its support of gay rights, turned a corporate policy into a public debate this week after its CEO was accosted by a group called the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). The group is known for lobbying hard against proposed legislation that would legalize same sex marriage, among other proposed gay rights laws.
NOM is putting pressure on Starbucks by calling for a national boycott of the coffee chain. The plan is that such a boycott will eventually pressure the chain to revoke its pro-gay policies. However, I’d argue that the organization knows that such a boycott will have little effect on the company’s policies. Its real goal is self-serving: Driving media attention to its platform.
You can see Starbucks’ official page dedicated to Diversity and Inclusion. The page’s text is pretty vague, but actions speak louder than words, don’t they?
When leaders of “Corporate America” stand up for equality, fight discrimination, or speak OUT among a sea of followers of the status quo who merely concern themselves with stock prices, profitability, and power (or whatever else is in it for them) we need to thank them.
Now, we are not saying that you need to rush out and buy a cup of Starbucks coffee. If you do, though, we won’t hold it against you. In fact from the media reports about Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s stance, it sounds as though Starbucks did a very good thing. So, please do let them know.
They did what every company should do.
Thanks again, Starbucks.
Speaking of …
Do you own a company, are you involved in the leadership of a company, or do you work for a company (or organization of course) that doesn’t already have inclusion policy?
Or is yours sorely lacking in meaning?
Contact OutJustice and we will help you get one in place.
We also provide training about implementing policies advocating inclusion.
And as a special note, if you are a part of the transgender community, we are especially interested in helping you. We are happy to conduct these companywide and anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.
Of course, please also support your local coffee shops – especially those that strive for excellence through inclusion and support equality.
And check out this little gardening bit we found while researching this post:
- Starbucks to offer free coffee to those who buy drinks for others (wjla.com)
- Starbucks Enters Same-Sex Marriage Boycott Wars (huffingtonpost.com)
- Starbucks debuts Teavana bar, and it’s a doozy (usatoday.com)