We Love BuHi
SFA partner for 2017 Oral History Workshop
SFA partners with We Love BuHi for our 2017 Oral History Workshop, July 16-22, where participants will study and document stories along Atlanta's Buford Highway. Apply by March 24 to participate.
By Marian Liou
Two years ago, We Love BuHi Founder Marian Liou started an Instagram account to explore and celebrate her changing neighborhood – Buford Highway in Atlanta, Georgia. We Love BuHi has since grown into an organization dedicated to strengthening the immigrant and refugee communities that make Buford Highway one of the most diverse, vibrant, and exciting places in the American South.
Because the voices of the individuals living and working in places like Buford Highway have been mostly unheard, underrepresented, and unorganized, We Love BuHi has three main goals: (1) create a strong multicultural identity for Buford Highway that reflects its true character and immigrant and refugee stories through tours, special events, and placemaking projects; (2) build a cohesive business coalition across racial, cultural, and socioeconomic lines; and (3) advocate for greater economic opportunities and an improved quality of life directly benefiting current residents and business owners.
Over the past two years, We Love BuHi has featured local spots and their immigrant and refugee owners on walking, bicycle, bus, and trolley tours, as well as guest speakers who are experts on design, urbanism, walkability, and transit, and city officials.
We Love BuHi has partnered with tactical urbanists, grassroots transit advocates, other neighborhood organizations, nonprofit social service providers, and Atlanta’s last video store to bring a planning study, business coalition, Halloween parade and pop-up community festival, tree plantings, painted pedestrian path, and foreign film series to Buford Highway.
This summer, in addition to our collaboration with Southern Foodways Alliance, we are launching an official food walking tour, a needs assessment surveying the challenges facing local business owners, and a street art conference in tandem with Living Walls, a local public arts nonprofit.
By using innovative, collaborative, multidisciplinary approaches to create a stronger, truer sense of place, catalyze and develop a sense of pride and ownership within multicultural communities, and adapt traditional tools of community engagement and community development for underserved, often disengaged communities, We Love BuHi is changing how we view, value, and envision multiethnic corridors like Buford Highway.
Marian Liou is a long-time resident of Atlanta, a mother of two, an attorney, and a graduate of Stanford University and Columbia Law School. She serves on the board of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, a civil rights organization.
*Images courtesy of Marian Liou.