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The Green Hope Falcon

UP STANDERS Expands Starbucks’ Menu to include HOPE

Sonia Rao, Staff Writer

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Starbucks is well renowned for its mocha Frappuccinos and pumpkin spice lattes, but this past Tuesday, the international coffee company became a multimedia platform as well.  On September 6th, Starbucks released an original web series titled “Upstanders” on their website, a new social change platform created by them.  The multi-media web series includes written essays, podcasts, and mini-documentaries; each piece features true stories of real-life American citizens. One such, “The Mosque Across the Street,” details an Islamic center’s purchase of land across the street from a church in Memphis, and the surprising reception of warmth rather than the expected hostility. Another story, “Employing the Full Spectrum,” tells the tale of a dad’s employment search for his autistic son who ends up owning a successful car wash where 85% of its employees were are living with autism.

When asked about what persuaded the company to expand their platform, Starbucks executive producer, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, responded, “When we turn on the news or scroll through our social media feeds, we are inundated with stories of discord and dysfunction. But there is more to America than that. In cities and towns across the country, there are people who are courageously, selflessly, collaboratively, and thoughtfully creating positive change. We want to share their stories, which are often ignored by traditional news organizations, with millions of our fellow Americans through this Starbucks unparalleled platform.”

Since the founding of the company in 1971, Starbucks has been gratifying consumers with a variety of caffeinated and often luxurious beverages, but now the mega corporation is offering a platform for nourishment besides those to be imbibed – personal stories of hope and perseverance. Now queued-up consumers have another option besides the usual social media to fill their time while waiting for a peppermint mocha or chai latte. Since their original launch as a standard coffee house, Starbucks has introduced expanded menus, alcoholic beverages in some cities, and music to their merchandise besides their most recent endeavor of online media. It is uncertain to what lengths the company will explore in this new realm.

About the Contributor
Sonia Rao, Editor-in-Chief
Sonia Rao is a senior at Green Hope High School and the editor-in-chief for The Falcon. In her free time she loves to read and play ultimate frisbee— which she does for three different teams! She hopes to find herself at UNC Chapel Hill next year, double majoring in journalism and business or journalism and...
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UP STANDERS Expands Starbucks’ Menu to include HOPE