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Annual Microsoft Ignite conference entices criticism over 'woke' introductions

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WASHINGTON (TND) -- This week's annual Microsoft Ignite conference drew criticism in response to its corporate introduction, which pointed out people's race, hairstyles, genders, and acknowledged the indigenous land on which the company was built in Washington State.

During the introduction, the hosts first acknowledge that the "land where the Microsoft campus is situated" was traditionally occupied by The Sammamish, The Duwamish, The Snowqualmie, the Muckleshoot, the Snohomish, the Tulalip, and other "Coast- Salish peoples since time immemorial."

"A people that are still here, continuing to honor and bring to light their ancient heritage," says Senior Program Manager and On-Air Host Allison Weins, who works in the Developer Tools Division. "I'm an Asian and White female with dark brown hair," she continues, "wearing a red sleeveless top."

The second host, Program Manager of the "AI Platform Group" Seth Juarez, also vocally acknowledged his race and gender before continuing with the usual conference.

"I'm a tall Hispanic male wearing a blue shirt and khaki pants," Juarez said before moving on to talk about the "latest solutions" for connecting with "peers around the world."

Many Microsoft employees, such as Nic Fillingham and Natalia Godyla, also followed this pattern of "woke" introductions throughout the conference, as did other employees before speaking on the air.

"Woke" ideology, or "Woke-ism," are terms used at the center of many of the fiercest political and cultural debates in the past few years, according to Metro.

In recent years, the term "woke" has been used to criticize people in arguments surrounding identity politics. In a pejorative sense, "woke-ism" means "following an intolerant and moralizing ideology" and is used to mock "over-righteous liberalism," according to Wikipedia.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary deems the term "U.S. slang" and describes it as being "aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)," according to National World.

The term has recently been associated with political and social causes like LGBTQ+ advocacy, the Black Lives Matter movement, and "left-wing ideas involving social justice or identity politics," as described by Wiki's encyclopedia.

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Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment from The National Desk.

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