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Tamarack Featured in The Record on Fight Against Poverty

Posted on January 22, 2019
By Megan Wanless

Paul BornEnding poverty is ‘the most important thing to do if you want peace in the world’ – Paul Born

Last month we were thrilled to have our Co-CEO, Paul Born, sit down with The Record to talk about Tamarack’s work in the fight to end poverty as well as an exciting new $2-million partnership with the federal government to support this work moving forward. 


The article touched on a number of past examples of where Tamarack has seen impact in its support of communities who are working collaboratively to tackle complex challenges. The key to these successes have been Tamarack’s approach to community problem-solving – always grounding the work in collaborative discussion and decision-making.

"Paul has a way of taking those hard-to-talk-about topics into a very thoughtful and engaging dialogue, that ultimately leads to ideas and solutions to make things better." - Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic

To focus in on one example, Born has been working with the United Way of Central Iowa towards the goal of having 70% of Central Iowans financially self-sufficient by 2020. To achieve this Born worked with the United Way and its partners to bring together four different kinds of voices to the table when planning strategy: business, government (including educational institutions and health-care facilities), non-profit organizations, and people with lived experience. A key factor to the strategy was having people with low incomes take the lead on the work. Over two years, people who were experiencing poverty helped guide the initiatives that were put in place and identified roadblocks and challenges throughout that may have otherwise been overlooked.

"They really helped us to understand the problems," said Elisabeth Buck, president of the United Way of Central Iowa.

The project, in just two years, has helped 25,000 Iowans out of poverty and brought the percentage up to 67% of Central Iowans who are now financially self-sufficient.

It is stories like this that fuel the continued work that Tamarack takes on across the country and beyond. With the recent announcement of a $2-million partnership with the federal government to continue working with more than 300 municipalities across Canada in their work to reduce poverty together, we are excited to see what is still yet to come.

Learn More:

Paul Born, Megan Wanless, Poverty Reduction, Cities Reducing Poverty, Blog

Megan Wanless

By Megan Wanless

Megan is a Senior Community Animator at the Tamarack Institute and works across the organization to improve and deepen the learning experience for over 27,000 members within Tamarack’s learning communities and online platforms. Having worked with Tamarack for over 5 years, Megan oversees key strategic areas for the organization including strategic learning, content production and events. Prior to Tamarack, Megan worked in the field of international development, earning a Master of Social Science degree from the University of Edinburgh and worked in Malawi to engage with communities around sexual and reproductive rights using applied theatre. With a Bachelor Arts Degree in Theatre, Megan has been leveraging theatre as a tool for community change for many years and has had the pleasure of practicing it in communities within Canada as well as South Africa, Uganda and Malawi.

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