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The St. Louis Business Journal reports that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has promised to open a store in Ferguson, Missouri, the community that has faced enormous racial strife following the killing last year of Michael Brown, a black teen, by a white police officer, and the subsequent decision by local and federal criminal justice officials not to file charges in the case.

The announcement comes following last month's much-criticized attempt by Starbucks to promote a discussion of the nation's racial issues and divisions by having baristas write "Race Together" on coffee cups and engage in conversation about the subject with customers.
KC's View:
I continue to have mixed feelings about the coffee cup initiative - I think it was well-intentioned but maybe misconceived.

That said, the enormous number of stories have have emerged recently about racial tensions and mistreatment of minorities by some institutions and some people, makes me think that however flawed the execution, it is hard to fault a high profile CEO for being willing to address the situation in a very public and even risky way.

I think that opening a store in Ferguson is the best kind of initiative. Invest money in the community, create jobs, and try to be the best kind of third place.