As African Americans, we certainly aren’t shy about sharing our opinions. Anyone who has sat for hours in a black barbershop or beauty solon can vouch for that.

So maybe you have thoughts on how to solve the funding crisis that threatens local charities. I’m talking about big ideas, something that will fundamentally change how we support the organizations that do good work in our communities.

If so, we invite you to share your ideas on a new Web site sponsored by the Charlotte Observer and eight other media organizations, including You can link to the site at

The idea is to collect as many good suggestions as possible and see which ones rise to the top. Maybe someone will read your idea and think of ways to improve it. Or maybe you’ll see ways to build on someone else’s suggestion.

As Observer Editor Rick Thames pointed out in his Sunday column, it was the power of a single idea that helped Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson devise a way to bring the team to the Qcity after the NFL had rejected his plan to borrow $160 million for stadium construction. That idea – so simple in hindsight — led to the concept of the PSL, or permanent seat license.

To keep track of all the bright ideas that we hope will pour in, our media team has partnered with Edison Nation, a Charlotte-based company that produces the PBS series “Everyday Edisons.” The company has extensive experience using the Web to solicit product ideas for some of the nation’s biggest retailers.

The purpose behind all of this, of course, is to build a stronger community. Because of the economic recession and funding shortages, many of our nonprofits are being stretched to the limit.

Just imagine if your idea offered a breakthrough solution.

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