Molly Barker gets out of the “leader box” and discovers that she is a leader in her letter to Congress. Read it here.   Molly Barker Veteran TEDxCharlotte speaker Molly Barker is the founder of Girls on the Run. Through the organization, Molly has helped girls all over North America understand that it’s OK if they don’t fit into the “Girl Box.” Most recently The Naked Face Project has helped Molly broaden her reach to both girls and women helping liberate them from the pressures of society. Read her books Girls on Track, A Parent’s Guide to Inspiring our Daughters to Achieve Self-Esteem and RespectRead More →

Dear Congress: I’ve been wanting to write you for awhile. I need to come clean with you.  I haven’t liked the way you seem to communicate with each other.   There appears to be a lot of name-calling, bullying and downright mean-spiritedness. If we can’t respect each other within our own house, how can we possible work together to find the solutions our country needs so desperately right now. But the truth is, I don’t know you.  I’m a busy woman.  I work full time, am the single mother to two teenagers…I, like so many Americans, don’t have the time or resources to really know youRead More →

The theme of big ideas and big dreams continued with Dale Mullennix, from Urban Ministry Center of Charlotte, who described his dream to end homelessness. But Mullennix decided to take it one step further: “How about how to end homelessness and heal your own soul at the same time.” Most people don’t want to talk about homelessness or do anything about it, Mullennix said, because they just can’t imagine how what they have to offer intersects with this tremendous social problem. Apathy combined with the feeling of being overwhelmed is a deadly combination. But Mullennix crafted his talk around author Frederick Buechner’s famous quote, “VocationRead More →

Chad Henderson told the audience at TEDxCharlotte about his typical work day. He starts at 4 a.m. and by 4:30 a.m. he’s already sweating, running numbers in his head about temperature and ingredients while carrying heavy bags and hops.  The man is non-stop, and all before 6 a.m. But all Henderson can think is, “God, I’m living the dream.” His passion for craft beer became his career and never feels like a job. “When you’re a kid, you dream about things that don’t make sense,” said Henderson. “That wonderment comes with a blind hope and faith.  You don’t know how you’re going to get there.”Read More →

Emcee Mike Watson introduced Valaida Fullwood and Charles Thomas by saying, “They are both just gifts to our community.” “Reframing Portraits of Philanthropy — that was my big idea six years ago,” began Valaida. The book, published in October 2011, shares the stories and profiles of 200 black philanthropists. As Valaida explained, “For some time, I’ve been unsettled by prevailing stories of philanthropy and who’s qualified to be a philanthropist. The conventional frame is narrowly set.” The literal translation of philanthropy from the Greek is “love of humankind” or “love of humanity.” And Valaida said, “When love enters the picture, everything changes. And that shiftRead More →

Last year JD, Buck and Jackson joined TEDxCharlotte remotely from a Buddhist Monastery in south central India. They were in the midst of their Twelve in Twelve travels where they visited 12 countries in 12 months seeking opportunities to engage with people all over the world to make an impact through humanitarian work. This year we had the pleasure of having them speak in person. Follow JD and his sons, Buck and Jackson, as they continue their work through Twelve in Twelve by connecting with them on Facebook or Twitter and find out how you can get involved in their program.   JD Lewis, 54,Read More →

  Patricia Shafer is the founder and “Chief Catalyst” of Mothering Across Continents, a nonprofit organization where volunteer catalysts — people who work together to create change in the world — receive consulting, coaching and mentoring to make dream ventures a reality. Projects have been launched on four continents.   “We’re all on this planet together,” said Shafer. “We need to help our tribe.”   The former corporate strategist sees numerous opportunities for people to be engaged with global issues, one being service to orphans and vulnerable children. In late 2005, she wrote an op-ed piece for The Charlotte Observer encouraging metro Charlotte residents andRead More →

Food: (N) any nutritious substance that people eat or drink in order to maintain life and growth- a human necessity, a basic right, and yet, there are countless communities across the country without access to clean and healthy nourishment. In 2008, Robin Emmons set out to plant the seeds of change to make a difference, founding Sow Much Good. Experiencing through her brother the detrimental effects of malnutrition, and lack of access to wholesome food in the communities around her, Robin dedicated herself to putting an end to obstacles in our food system that largely affect the poorer and working populations. Since starting the project,Read More →

  Valaida Fullwood – Author, “Giving Back” and Charles Thomas – Photographer, “Giving Back” Valaida Fullwood is a true multi-hyphenate: writer, project strategist, and award-winning author who together with Photographer Charles Thomas, created “Giving Back,” a book of stories and images that reframe portraits of philanthropy, which won the McAdam Book Award in 2012. The two have known each other for five years and speak together around the country. In addition to being the Photographer of “Giving Back,” Charles Thomas is the Executive Director of Queen City Forward, which works to help socially conscious entrepreneurs meet what he calls their triple bottom line: people, planning, and profit. TheRead More →

When you hear people talk about the Charlotte craft beer scene, you may wonder what exactly is a craft brew? Craft breweries produce 6 million barrels or less Microbreweries produce 15,000 barrels or less A brew pub is where 25% or more of the beer is sold on site Nanobreweries and home brewers also produce small batches of tasty craft brew concoctions Deeply rooted in homebrewing, the craft beer industry is unlimiting American beer culture. It has even has helped to repeal laws which helped make opening microbreweries easier. In 1978 homebrewing was finally re-legalized in the United States, in the years that followed theseRead More →