By Ben Geier
March 19, 2015

Starbucks Senior Vice President of Global Communications Corey duBrowa got into a bit of a tussle on Twitter earlier this week over his company’s new “Race Together” campaign, aimed at getting baristas to talk about race relations with customers.

A lot of people weren’t so fond of the idea, and they let duBrowa know:

First DuBrowa blocked several users, then he deleted his account Wednesday evening. But he reactivated his account Thursday before detailing the whole ordeal in a blog post over on Medium:

But last night I felt personally attacked in a cascade of negativity. I got overwhelmed by the volume and tenor of the discussion, and I reacted. Most of all, I was concerned about becoming a distraction from the respectful conversation around Race Together that we have been trying to create. To be clear, Race Together isn’t about me, it’s about we: and having heard first-hand the number of stories our partners (at Starbucks we call our employees “partners”) shared with us in the open forums of the past few months, I have thought long and hard about the passion, concerns and painful experiences our people across the country have endured, and wanting to make sure they felt supported by their company.

So no matter how ugly the discussion has been since I shut my account down, I’m reaffirming my belief in the power of meaningful, civil, thoughtful, respectful open conversation — on Twitter and everywhere else. I believe in it personally, and Starbucks believes in it at the core of our company’s values. It’s this belief that led us to host a series of open forums with our partners in some of the communities most affected by the recent flareups of racial tension across the country. In those meetings, we heard loud and clear that we, as a company, have an opportunity to engage on this topic, no matter how difficult.

Read more about Starbucks’ “Race Together” campaign: Starbucks to encourage baristas to discuss race relations with customers

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