Common’s participation in Starbucks’ anti-bias training explained

It may come as no surprise to those who know Common’s circle of influential friends that he’s participating in Starbucks’ nationwide anti-bias training on Tuesday.

He’s longtime pals with Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Schultz.

As widely reported, the rapper will appear as a guide in a series of anti-bias training videos sent out to 8,000 stores. The video tool is expected to be viewed by as many as 175,000 employees during the four-hour training.

A Starbucks spokesperson explained to Page Six that the Chicago-born rapper and the billionaire businessman have been good friends for many years.

We’re told they’ve had a longstanding relationship and have worked together on several projects in the past including Turn Up the Vote with TurboVote and the 100,000 Opportunities job fair in Chicago.

Common was even a special guest at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in 2015, which dug deep into race relations. He performed the song “Glory” from the “Selma” soundtrack, which earned him both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

Schultz hasn’t been shy about his love and support of Common over the years, either.

In 2017, Schultz listed Common as one of his favorite artists, explaining, “I have been so impressed with his level of commitment to race relations, humanity and certainly Opportunity Youth. He’s a very humble person who just wants to elevate the national conversation by using his music and his poetry.”

The Starbucks spokesperson was unaware whether Common was paid for his participation or whether he owns stock in the company.

A request for comment from Common’s team wasn’t immediately returned.

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