VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In 2022, Elimin8Hate – the advocacy arm of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF) – developed the world’s first custom dictionary of Asian names, ReClaimYourName.dic. Today, Elimin8Hate’s initiative has been recognized by Microsoft, and the dictionary is being added into current and future Microsoft 365 application updates, including Microsoft Word.
The dictionary initiative supports Elimin8Hate’s mission to dismantle and eliminate anti-Asian racism and currently includes more than 8,000 monikers across a dozen Asian countries, each honouring the true identity of Asian-Canadians. It was developed in partnership with global communications agency, Citizen Relations.
“It is incredibly rewarding to see the tremendous amount of time, energy and passion our team put into this project resonate with so many and we are thrilled for Microsoft to include it in an upcoming update. This signals a watershed moment of inclusivity for the Asian community,” said Barbara Lee, Founder of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival and Elimin8Hate. “Not only is this significant progress forward for normalizing Asian identities, it will help pave the way for a more inclusive future for all. A huge thank you to Microsoft for recognizing the need for change and being part of the solution.”
Over 60% of individuals state racism and hate as a top reason for changing their ethnic names. This feeling of exclusion is a problem we cannot ignore. In the past, some Word processing programmes have seen non-Anglo names as mistakes, highlighting them with a jarring red underline. Elimin8Hate chose to connect with Microsoft because of their global reach and commitment to inclusive design and content. Together, this project will help to increase representation and strengthen a culture of inclusion.
“At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more,” said Chris Barry, President, Microsoft Canada. “We are intentional about using our global reach to drive positive change in the communities where we live and work. Billions of people use Microsoft apps every day for work, school and life and initiatives like Elimin8Hate’s ReClaimYourName dictionary will help make that experience more inclusive for everyone.”
As of March 2023, ReClaimYourName.dic has received thousands of views and hundreds of downloads from individuals & small and medium sized business and, been covered by leading media across Canada and supported by notable Asian Canadians, including Pulitzer Prize-nominated cartoonist and illustrator, Zoe Si, Hiro Kanagawa, Tiana Shern, and Mijune Pak.
Most recently, for Asian Heritage Month (May 2023), Elimin8Hate launched an Anti-Racism training program for Canadian workplaces, aimed at empowering individuals to eliminate systemic inequities in the workplace that affect Asian Canadians.
For more information visit Elimin8Hate.org.
Elimin8Hate (E8) is the advocacy arm of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. We work to interrupt, dismantle and eliminate anti-Asian racism at the individual, institutional and systemic level by harnessing the power of arts, film and media. We provide anti-Asian racism learning opportunities, and create safe, inclusive ways for impacted community members and allies to participate in initiatives aimed at supporting systemic change for an equitable society. Educate. Empower. Eliminate.
For more information: Daniel Ma, Elimin8Hate, [email protected]