Reclaim Your Name
Challenge & Goal Adopting an anglicized name is a common practice for Asian-Canadians. Instead of making things easier for them, emotional wellbeing suffers, often accompanied by a loss of identity. Seeing a red underline marking your name as a typo is one example of softwares we use saying: If you’re Asian, you don’t belong. It was Elimin8Hate’s time to step in and show action and support for Asian-Canadians by normalizing their names, one dictionary at a time.
Insight & Strategy Since COVID-19, Asian hate has skyrocketed, yet it flies under the radar. Name changing isn’t questioned, and the microaggression it symbolizes isn’t on our radar. When names are changed, we prioritize linguistic comfort over the identity of the person making the change. So, we started with the simple - by building a custom dictionary with Microsoft. This strategy made the action of seeing Asian names without a red underline something real and tangible - making sure Asian-Canadians knew they belonged.
Execution In partnership with Elimin8Hate, Citizen created a campaign to combat discrimination and empower Asian-Canadians to reclaim their names. We developed the first custom dictionary of Asian names - a free .dic file in Microsoft Word containing over 8,000 unique monikers from over a dozen countries. We interviewed several Asian-Canadians who experienced name discrimination and recorded their reactions to seeing the red underline disappear from their name. The campaign was amplified through YouTube pre-roll ads, OOH ads and strategic media relations.
Results & Impact
website impressions for NameReClaim.ca secured
dictionary download rate
in Breakfast Television, CBC Radio One, City News, Black Press Media, The Jas Johal Show & Global News
syndications across British Columbia
Social media support
from Hiro Kanagawa, Tiana Shern, Mijune Pak & more
media interviews secured
of coverage was positive in tone
has caught wind of the campaign and is exploring opportunities to implement it