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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says #RaceTogether 'right thing to do'

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is not one to back down about an issue he cares about and Wednesday he staunchly defended the company's much lampooned effort to improve race relations by having baristas write Race Together on coffee cups.

"It's not going to solve racism, but I do believe it is the right thing to do at this time," Schultz told CNN Money's Poppy Harlow Wednesday.

He launched the campaign earlier this week aiming to start a national conversation about race. The response has been mixed, including some harsh backlash on social media. One Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)  public relations executive temporaroly deleted his Twitter account  after he was personally attacked.

 But Schultz has a reputation for taking controversial stands, including having his staff write "work together" on cups in 2012 during the Congressional "fiscal cliff" drama. He's also spoken out about gun control, gay rights and affordable education.

He said Wednesday that Starbucks is forging ahead with his race campaign. In fact, Schultz spent at least half the time at the company's shareholder meeting Wednesday talking about the push, which he's calling Race Together.

Currently SBUX is trading at 95.84 with +1.54% change.