Recently, I was approached with a question around the use of "BuHi", particularly did we think the people of this community could not pronounce the highway's full name as the reason for the acronym. I realized how prevalent this perception was and why it mattered. This person's statement stuck with me. I'd like to take a moment to set the record straight.
In a 2017 article from The Economist titled, Naming New York Neighborhoods, the author explained how and why some names stick, while others may represent a lack of knowledge into local roots and culture, or simply just too silly to use. So I asked myself, do I think using “BuHi” is being ill-mannered or disrespectful? In short, I don’t.
As with most complexities related to communication, perception is the reality. I believe that a large part of my job is to address it, head-on. The intention and use of “BuHi” is our way to very quickly position the footprints to which we serve into the forefront of activities, audiences, and conversations that focus around the southeast's largest, multicultural, and uniquely-interwoven fabric that is Buford Highway. We support activities that move individuals and communities closer towards a sense of connection and belonging; those deep-rooted and sometimes guarded feelings that may not be received through a singular path or the intended purpose. Our work then, is to engage through existing cultural channels, to converse, understand the nuances, create new lanes, and collaborate with partners, while remaining anchored to our vision for integrity, inclusion, and influence. And isn’t that the beauty of diversity?
In light of these discussions, we’ve created a tagline that I hope widens our reach to better encompass all hearts that make up our beloved highway. We want to be clear of what we do, why it matters, and how we want to impact the community. Being challenged and questioned, while having the opportunity to learn and discuss are initiatives that excite me! I may not have all the right answers, but my ears, eyes, and heart are open. I look forward to working within this dedicated community!