Starbucks racial bias training prompts conversations in Lowcountry

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Racial bias is driving conversations across the nation and here in the Lowcountry.

This comes after Starbucks closed its doors on Tuesday for racial bias training in all of its stores.

"That's a huge investment on their part," said Rev. Bernie Mazyck who is the Convener of the Racial Reconciliation Task Force of the Charleston District of United Methodist Churches.

That training is what got the ball rolling for the Charleston District of United Methodist Churches to hold a racial bias forum.

The conversation moving away from Starbucks and into the community.

"We see it playing out in a lot of different ways," said Mazyck. "Usually it's a stereotype. It changes how we interact with people who are different from us."

Some people at the forum said they came to learn more about what racial bias really is.

"I've been learning that there's always racial bias and if you think there isn't, there is," said Eileen Korander.

The speakers shed light on issues many may know about, and shared their own experiences of biases.

The first thing they say to do is look within yourself to try and stop the circle.

"We'd like to everyone to take away a moment to pause, reflect, and think about our own actions when we're dealing with someone who's different than us," said Mazyck.

Mazyck said he saw an example of that on Tuesday, and not just by Starbucks closing its doors.

"We had a situation today with the network that brought you 'Roseanne,' and that was a top-rated show and they canceled the show because of actions by the star," said Mayzck.

Mayzck said despite major companies taking a step in the right direction, there is still more to be done.

"We're getting there. We have a long way to go, a long way to go," said Mayzck.

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