Introduced by

Have you met Sarah Hazel?

She loves people, she loves Charlotte and she’s constantly thinking of ways to bring people together…

Hi! Have you met Sarah Hazel?

Sarah and I work together in the City Manager’s Office for the City of Charlotte. It goes without saying that Sarah is (you guessed it, Awesome!). Sarah has always allowed her light to shine brightly in our organization and in this community. She loves people, she loves Charlotte and she’s constantly thinking of ways to bring people together in ways they have never imagined before. She’s a Knight Cities Challenge winner, and her No Barriers Project idea is bringing people who would have not otherwise interacted with one another to transform Charlotte and other cities around the globe.

I asked her 6 questions. Her answers are below her picture.

What are you most passionate about?

I am an organizer at heart (in fact I used to be one). I love connecting people with opportunities to shape the communities they love and the world they live in. I believe there are limitless occasions for tapping into human potential. I believe in people, the power of storytelling, and the potential for empathy to break down all kinds of barriers in our organizations, neighborhoods, and city.

If you have the ability to change one thing about Charlotte, what would it be?

More movement and interactions between neighborhoods. Right now it is really easy to stay in your own neighborhood and your own sphere, to get in your car and drive somewhere and park in front of the restaurant or store and then drive home, but not really experience the area or get to know anyone in the process. I think part of what is changing this dynamic is making those physical connections with transit and greenways and through increasing initiatives to activate common public space in unique ways. Bring it on!

If you could have a superpower what would it be?

I would have the ability to understand and communicate with all animals, so, I suppose my superpower would be akin to Dr. Dolittle. I just know my sweet dog, Mo has a lot to say.

If you had to be a Disney Princess, who would you be and why?

Here’s the thing, I am a child of the 80’s and a lot of the princesses I grew up with weren’t exactly the best female role models. I loved Ariel, she was really adventurous and could breathe under water (cool!), but the whole giving up her beautiful voice and family thing to live on land, nah, not for me. So I think I would go with Belle from Beauty and the Beast because she is strong and spirited and looks for the best in people and beasts.

Why do you love Charlotte?

There is endless opportunity and a welcoming spirit. Moving here after living in the Northeast, I noticed the ease with which I could connect with initiatives, organizations, and people that work to make the City a great place and people who shared common dreams. There are so many welcoming, creative, doers who seek to make a difference in this city and they have open arms. There isn’t a sense that there is only so much room ..everyone wants to grow the pie! The pie just keeps getting bigger and bigger! That’s awesome.

What is your favorite local beer?


You’ll often find Sarah at Common Market in South End or one of the many breweries enjoying a beer and thinking of ways to make Charlotte a better place. You can learn more about her No Barriers Project by visiting You can also find Sarah via Twitter @hazelsarahmarie.

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