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Erika Royal, Partner, Holland& Knight, Fort Lauderdale Office. Handout Photo 7-7-2016

Starbucks’ bold decision to close some 8,000 stores on the afternoon of May 29 to conduct racial bias training, following the arrest of two black men who were waiting for a friend at one of its Philadelphia locations, has shone a light on training related to “implicit bias.” Implicit bias training has been around for a while, but gained popularity following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the Department of Justice’s subsequent finding that the Ferguson Police Department engaged in a pattern of racial bias. This training gained acceptance in corporate diversity and inclusion circles after tech companies such as Facebook and Google disclosed their own bias training programs, with many companies following suit.

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