A while ago, I learned of a term in the world of sports journalism known as “emptying the notebook,” in which a beat writer or columnist devotes space to subjects, quotes, and tidbits that he or she wrote down in their notebooks but couldn’t fit into their regular columns or reports that week. That term could apply to my web browser, because… yikes! I got a lot of bookmarks I’ve forgotten about.
With that confession out in the open, I thought I could use the “emptying the notebook” approach to my web browser and my blog with a new category I’ll call… [drumroll] “Allison Empties Her Bookmarks.” The posts in this category will include at least one bookmarked article, video, etc. of various topics that piqued my interest and thought about adding to a “random stuff” post (yeah, consider this category a “random stuff” subset). However, these links are (relatively) so old that they’ve somewhat lost their immediacy — all because I forgot that I bookmarked them.
Let’s devote this first “Bookmark Emptying” to this Huffington Post story from November of last year. It’s a LGBT-related move by a very prominent name in the world of keeping you awake:
Yep, Starbucks! The coffee and coffeehouse chain is recognized worldwide and seems so intertwined with its hometown, Seattle, Washington. In fact, it has more locations in Seattle than any other business, at least according to Officer Jim Ritter of the Seattle Police Department. In 2014, Ritter, a 33-year SPD veteran and openly gay, was appointed the SPD’s liaison officer to Seattle’s LGBT community.
As part of his role as SPD liaison, Officer Ritter has encouraged businesses in Seattle to join the SPD’s “Safe Place” program, which aims to reduce violence and bias-related crimes against LGBTs and other minorities by offering them safe havens. Officer Ritter is proud to say that not one business has turned down his offer to join in on Safe Place. And neither did Starbucks, who announced last fall that it would partner in the program.
And judging by the numbers in the report, Starbucks really went all-in on joining Safe Place. When they announced their involvement, the 2,000 or so employees at all 97 of Starbucks’ City of Seattle locations were in the process of finishing their Safe Place training sessions. These “2,000 extra pairs of eyes” now know how to assist victims of hate crimes and help in reporting these crimes to police.
Safe Place is a program that puts bullies and perpetrators of “malicious harassment” (the term used in the State of Washington’s hate crime statute) on notice that they won’t creep back into the shadows. Perhaps just as important, it reassures those mistreated due to their open or perceived sexuality, gender identity, nationality, or religious affiliation that Seattle businesses such as Starbucks that bear a rainbow-colored badge (Safe Place’s insignia) in their windows will serve as a haven of reassurance, with help from not only those who work there but also the police they will call on to help out.
It’s a great move by Starbucks, who has been on record as being strongly in solidarity with the global LGBT community (evidence of that can be found here, here, and here). So the next time you venture into a Starbucks and order a Frappuccino or espresso or half-caf/quarter-caf whatever (yeah, I don’t drink coffee), know that they have the LGBT community’s back — especially when someone in the LGBT community needs a hand.