#BoycottStarbucks Starts a Conversation

The line at Starbucks is long, but it doesn’t matter to Diana Serrano, Cal Poly political science freshman.  While waiting in line, Serrano talks about her mother, who immigrated here from Leon, Guanajuato Mexico in 1992.

“Everything I do is because of her,” she says. “She made sacrifices for us to be here.”

So when the trending #BoycottStarbucks movement started on Twitter in response to the company’s promise to employ 10,000 refugees in the next five years, Serrano had something to say.

“Not every immigrant is a bad person.  In any society, you will have good people and bad people,” Serrano says. “They come here to work for a better life, and they have to work twice as hard as everyone else because they’re stereotyped.”

She orders and happily sips a white mocha, knowing that it will help support immigrants looking for jobs around the world.

CEO of Starbucks Howard Schulz announced in a letter to his employees his intention to support refugees in the workforce.  The announcement has definitely made the coffee company some enemies.  However, there are several who support Schulz’ decision to take action against Trump’s travel ban.

According to a Harvard Business School study on Business Insider:

“38% of Americans believe CEOs have a responsibility to speak out on controversial issues, as long as they directly apply to the company’s business.”

Businesses do it often, an even more recent example being the female-empowering Audi commercial during Super Bowl 51.

Kabrina Krebel Chang, Associated Professor of Business Law and Ethics at Boston University, noted the growing desire people feel to have companies act as watchdogs, especially since the recent election:

“To me, what this says about business is that we want and expect their involvement no matter our politics….Given the controversy this President has caused in just his first month in office, I think the expectations on business in this area will grow.”


















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