Black Men Arrested at Starbucks turn Lemons into Lemonade!

Less than a month ago, a video of Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson went viral and sparked public outrage, along with an effort #ReplaceStarbucks by many who opposed the company’s perceived malpractice. Weeks of protests followed, and the men made appearances with various media outlets addressing their experienced discrimination and striking a conversation. The CEO of Starbucks even announced that the company will shut down on May 29th, for to train employees on “racial bias” in the workplace. Well now, the two men, the city of Philadelphia, and Starbucks have reached a quite impressive agreement—and these brothas are looking more noble and dignified than ever! Nelson and Robinson made it very clear that they weren’t looking for a payout. In fact, they will each only receive $1. Yes, you’ve heard that correctly. Additionally, the 23-year-old men have dropped all accusations and legal claims with the city of Philadelphia, and Starbucks. In exchange, they are working with city officials on a $200,00 grant that will pioneer an entrepreneurial program. The initiative will “pilot [a] curriculum for public high school students to develop the skills necessary to pursue their dream of being entrepreneurs,” according to Philadelphia spokesman Mike Dunn. Taking the high road was the righteous thing to do. Robinson said “We thought long and hard about it and [felt] like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see.” On Thursday morning, Nelson and Robinson appeared on Good Morning America to talk about the settlement and their goals for the grant funds and community programs. The programs are quite necessary in Philadelphia, where youth unemployment averages between 14 and 16 percent. For young people of color, those rates are at least 10 percentage points higher. Indeed, a 2015 study from Measure of America found that Philadelphia has the highest highest proportion of “disconnected” youths of any big metro in the Northeast — that is youths neither enrolled in school or working. Other involved parties in the Starbucks incident have made efforts to right their wrongs. The Black police commissioner who initially backed their unlawful arrest has addressed his mistake, and issued an apology. The CEO of Starbucks has graciously thanked the men for “their willingness to reconcile.” Robinson and Nelson are even partnering with former Attorney General Eric Holder and Starbucks to improve diversity within the corporation. Additionally Starbucks announced a “confidential financial settlement with Nelson and Robinson. The two will receive full coverage of their undergraduate tuition through “Starbucks College Achievement Plan.” This grant is still in it’s developmental stages, but we can surely expect great things coming in the future! Now that is how you “put that thing down, flip it and reverse it!”]]>

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