To our members: By the end of February, and will be integrated into the Tamarack website at This is a more accessible platform, where you will easily find more engaging content and resources on poverty reduction and community change.

Questions? Send us a note at

Advisor, Philanthropic Services

Celeste Licorish

Thought Leader

Advisor, Philanthropic Services,  Hamilton Community Foundation
Hamilton, ON, Canada

About Me:

Celeste is a single mom with multiple passions – especially making Hamilton a better place for those struggling with poverty. Originally from Toronto she moved to Hamilton to attend McMaster University and has called Hamilton home ever since. Her diverse background includes public relations, marketing and carpentry but she has found her calling in creating and co-ordinating Speak Now Hamilton Speakers Bureau for the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction Celeste holds a BA in Philosophy from McMaster University, is a member of the McMaster Research Ethics Board and a Vibrant Communities Thought Leader for the Tamarack Institute Her passion for helping those in need shift attitudes in others while discovering themselves through stories has made her a sought after speaker and presenter in Ontario and the US. Her most recent presentation was a TedX talk in Hamilton Celeste believes the words of John Quincy Adams who says; “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more or become more, you are a leader” When she’s not organizing Speak Now, Celeste is busy in the community with her three daughters in the Sherman neighbourhood in East Hamilton.

About My Organization: Hamilton Community Foundation

Hamilton has a history of pulling together. The Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction was formed in 2005 to tackle the City’s unacceptable levels of poverty. Roundtable members come from across Hamilton and include leaders from the business and non-profit sectors, from government, education and faith communities as well as individuals who experience poverty daily. Our goal: to reduce and eliminate poverty through the aspiration of Making Hamilton the Best Place to Raise a Child. The Roundtable doesn’t offer programs or direct services; our role is to build understanding about the need to invest in poverty reduction to create a healthier, inclusive and more prosperous Hamilton. We work locally, provincially and nationally on policy and systems-level change to achieve long-term solutions to poverty. Speaker's Bureau is an initiative run by the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction. The purpose of the Speakers’ Bureau is to empower individuals by giving voice to their lived experience with poverty and social exclusion. The concept’s origins stem from the Shifting Attitudes work group of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction; founded to combat pervasive negative stereotypes and promote educated dialogue around the community implications and costs of poverty and social exclusion. Participants will be available for speaking engagements to promote acceptance of community diversity and enhance awareness of local poverty issues through the telling of their personal stories.

My Collaborative: Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction