Opportunity through employment

The Winnipeg Foundation

Dr. Tyler Pearce’s legacy helps level the playing field

Dr. Tyler Pearce
Dr. Tyler Pearce.

As a child, Dr. Tyler Pearce, PhD, saw how unfair the world sometimes is, so she’s devoted her life to levelling the playing field through her work in the charitable sector. Her legacy gift through The Winnipeg Foundation ensures she will continue to support the organizations and causes she believes in, forever.

Dr. Pearce grew up in what she calls a “mixed race, mixed class family.”

“My parents had union jobs, but they were the only adults in my life that did. My aunts and uncles …some did backbreaking work… others went from job to job and really struggled to keep employment. Some members of my family are Indigenous.”

As a young child, she watched family members struggle with many things, such as unsteady employment, shift work, or being the only Indigenous woman in an office setting.

“Without having words or concepts to understand, I could see that gender and race really impacted how their bodies ended up. There’s a devastation that happens to people’s bodies when they’re in tough jobs. There’s also what happens to people’s self-confidence when you’re not treated well when you go into the bank or when you’re working with a social worker.”

It wasn’t until university that Dr. Pearce gained a greater understanding of the reasons her family struggled, and today she works to improve job opportunities for people just like her relatives.

“I have broken people within my family and I don’t want that to happen to other people. I want to make the world better. I’m very privileged within my family, I’m the activist. It just comes from seeing some really beautiful humans terribly hurt by the world in a very unfair way. No fault of their own. And so, that’s what moves me.”

Today, Dr. Pearce is Executive Director of Local Investment Toward Employment (LITE), which works to promote community economic development by supporting inner-city initiatives that build capacity and provide jobs.

In the past, Dr. Pearce worked as Canadian Mental Health Association’s Manager of Regional Affairs and was Director of Operations at BUILD, a social enterprise that offers training for people who face barriers to employment. She was also Project Manager of the 2012 renovation of 765 Main Street, which transformed the old Canadian Pacific Railway Post Office into the Social Enterprise Centre – a space that today is home to many community-minded non-profits, including LITE.

After the sudden death of a cousin who was just a few years older than her, Dr. Pearce saw firsthand what can happen when someone doesn’t have a Will. In the case of her cousin, the legal system decided what happened to his estate.

“Money is such a small part of the loss of a life, but it can overshadow all the other pain and things that people are going through, especially from a tragic loss. I don’t want to put my family in that position. And I don’t want to leave the world and be in that position.”

Working in the charitable sector, Dr. Pearce understands the difference every gift can make. That’s why she’s decided to include a gift through The Winnipeg Foundation in her estate plans.

“[We have a donor at LITE] who gives $1.30 every month… And every donation I get, I dance. I just know that the size of the gift is not what matters, it’s the actual gift. Once I experienced that firsthand, I realized it didn’t matter if my net worth is not large, what matters is that there is a gift that could be given.”

Dr. Pearce worked with Foundation staff to draft a letter of wishes, which she says was “literally pain free.” She decided to leave a Designated gift to two charitable organizations in her estate plans.

Dr. Pearce hopes through her legacy gift, she’ll continue to improve lives and spread opportunity.

“I hope my legacy is just a little bit of joy.”

If you’ve included a gift to the foundation in your estate plans, you’re invited to join our legacy circle. Contact us to learn more.

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