Microsoft adopts Canadian advocacy group’s dictionary of Asian names

A custom dictionary of Asian names, ReClaimYourName.dic., developed by Canadian advocacy group Elimin8Hate (E8) in partnership with global communications agency Citizen Relations,
is being added into current and future Microsoft 365 application updates, including Microsoft Word.

E8, the advocacy arm of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival, says 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.

“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.”

The advocacy group chose to connect with Microsoft because of their global reach and commitment to inclusive design and content. E8 believes 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.”



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