Tinesia ConwrightBy San Diego Pride
Devoted community leader within the nonprofit and for-profit industries, was born and raised in Southeastern San Diego during the 1980s and 90s, at the peak of gang violence within a neighborhood facing large pockets of poverty and few opportunities for educational advancement and socio-economic mobility. Despite the challenging environment, she found an outlet to express her love for dance through a Christian youth group, where she realized the capacity within youth to impact social change and uplift their peers and community. She discovered her self-worth and met people within her community who inspired her to become the person she is today. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from SDSU and her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management & Leadership from the USD. As she began to rise up the corporate ladder, she recognized a lack of black gay women in leadership roles, and began to make a difference within her community. Passionate about nurturing our future leaders of tomorrow, Tinesia launched, Depositing Empowerment Through Outreach & Urban Redevelopment (DETOUR), which has empowered over 1,000 girls through their Focused And Naturally Confident Youth (F.A.N.C.Y.) Teen Girls programs since inception. DETOUR is a mentoring program created to increase the amount of college-educated girls of color with viable employment in STEAM careers contributing to the economy and to our communities. Since 2016, 100% of the girls graduated from high school, and were accepted into 4-year universities where they are currently pursuing their college journey. Over half the girls entered into STEAM majors. When the San Diego black LGBT community united in 2010 to create an inclusive space, taking over the reins from Ebony Pride – Tinesia was involved in the creation of Urban Pride, a new organization of LGBT people of color who raised awareness of social and health issues amongst LGBT people of color, provided toy drives, and hosted community events. In 2012, when San Diego LGBT Pride decided to add a Hip Hop Stage to their annual festival – Tinesia was hand-picked by Cheli Mohammad to fulfill the role of the 1st Hip Hop Stage Manager, affectionately naming the stage Hip Hop Reloaded – and later “The Movement” to signify the progress made by our black LGBT community. Tinesia also worked with the entertainment team for 3 years at Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend popularly known as “The Dinah” – the largest girl party music festival in the world – hosted in Palm Springs. There she worked with the likes of Eve, Lady Gaga, Mary Lambert, Meagan Trainer, and Iggy Azalea. She is now a member of the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition, and provided insight to her journey and expertise as a panelist at the organization’s inaugural conference in 2017. Tinesia is a 2015 Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Honoree and currently serves on the City of SD Human Relations Commission and the SD Police Department Chief’s LGBT Advisory Board. She is currently happily married and enjoys spending time with her daughter during visits home from college.
Meet Tinesia Conwright of DETOUR EmpowersJuly 26, 2018 By SDVoyager
Today we’d like to introduce you to Tinesia Conwright. Tinesia was born and raised in Southeastern San Diego during the 1980s and 90s at the peak of gang violence within a neighborhood facing large pockets of poverty and few opportunities for educational advancement and socio-economic mobility. Despite the challenging environment, she found an outlet to express her love for dance through a youth group, The Steps of Praise. As a member of this group, she realized the capacity within youth to impact social change and uplift their peers and community. She discovered her self-worth and met people within her community who inspired her to become the person she is today. Passionate about nurturing the growth of girls and developing them into our future leaders of tomorrow, Tinesia launched her nonprofit, Depositing Empowerment Through Outreach & Urban Redevelopment (DETOUR). The organization provides three youth development programs: The Focused And Naturally Confident Youth (F.A.N.C.Y.) Teen Girls Expo, Leadership Academy, and Scholarship Program which has empowered over 1,000 girls since 2009. DETOUR teaches and mentors teen girls of color in grades 6 – 12 to be themselves by exploring their self-identity, building confidence, participating in career exploration/employment, volunteering/service-based learning and completing a college education. Tinesia contributes her time on a volunteer basis to build DETOUR to increase equity and inclusion for teen girls of color in education and employment. Imagine being born into the world as an unwanted black female. Right from birth, the odds are stacked against you. Your mother is struggling with a drug addiction, she doesn’t know who your father is, and you are growing up in the foster care system in Southeastern San Diego. This is the background of Tinesia’s younger foster sister Tatiana, who inspired her to launch the program and officially joined when she was in the 8th grade. Despite her challenging upbringing, she successfully graduated from high school in June 2016. Not only did she successfully graduate – she was selected from over 57,000 seniors nationwide to receive a Gates Millennium Scholarship. She is currently attending Syracuse University in New York on a full scholarship. Depositing Empowerment Through Outreach & Urban Redevelopment (DETOUR) was created to help girls like Tatiana become successful in life and believe in their dreams. Tinesia earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University and a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management & Leadership from the University of San Diego. She currently serves as the Youth Workforce Development Program Manager for the San Diego Housing Commission and the Executive Director for DETOUR. She also serves on the following boards; the City of San Diego Human Relations Commission, the San Diego Police Department Chief’s LGBT Advisory Board, the San Diego Urban League Young Professionals, and the SDSU African-American Alumni Association. Her work has been acknowledged by the San Diego LGBT Pride Champion of Pride Award, San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Under 40 Award, the RISE San Diego -SD Women In Civil Rights Award, the Black Girlz Rock San Diego Community Change Award, the San Diego County Urban League Young Professionals Top Forty Under 40 Award, the Urban Pride Community Leadership Award, a 79th District’s Assembly-member Dr. Shirley Weber 2014 Women of the Year Award Nomination, a City of San Diego Human Relations Commission Commendation, and the Blue Heart Foundation Community Award. Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way? Of course not! 🙂 There were many challenges along the way including launching a nonprofit organization with minimal resources. Since the beginning – I have maintained a full-time job and also completed my Master’s Degree and maintained my community involvement with other organizations. Last year, I got married, adding on another layer – my own family. Balance has been a challenge – but I have made it work! One of the other challenges is really just wanting to be able to do more for the girls we work with. Many come from single parent households and are being raised by other family members. Our goal is to provide more scholarships and supportive services to our girls. Since 2010 we have given away over $10,000 in scholarships to date. Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about DETOUR Empowers – what should we know? Depositing Empowerment Through Outreach and Urban Redevelopment’s (DETOUR) mission is to increase access to education and employment opportunities within in-demand career fields, for girls of color through our Focused And Naturally Conﬁdent Youth (F.A.N.C.Y.) Leadership programs. We are based in Southeastern San Diego, an area lagging behind San Diego County averages in income and workforce participation. Since 2009, DETOUR has encouraged over 1,000 girls in Southeastern San Diego to rise above these statistics, graduate from high school, and go to college. Our program launched with Girl Talk Workshops and the FANCY Teen Girls Expo – however, throughout the years we have learned that empowerment alone is not enough. We must also prepare them to advance into career fields with strong growth and high wages. We launched our cohort model FANCY Leadership Academy – which provides leadership development, financial education, college & career preparation workshops, and volunteering opportunities. Since 2016, 100% of our girls were accepted into 4-year universities – with over half currently studying STEAM majors. Girls like Tatiana – our Gates Millennium Scholarship winner who just finished her second year at Syracuse University majoring in forensic science. Our Leadership Academy has expanded to serving girls school sites, including Preuss UCSD, Millennial Tech Middle School, and Morse High School. I am most proud of the girls – who maintain an average 3.0 GPA and have been selected for nationally recognized programs including Black Girls Rock, Enterprising Women, and CA Legislative Black Caucus African American Leaders for Tomorrow. This year, our seniors received scholarships from the Jackie Robinson YMCA, the Ford Salute To Education, Lamplighters Scholarship, Dell Foundation, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., California Black Legislative Caucus, Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce. In addition, our FANCY Ambassador President Brittany Jasper was recognized by Council President Myrtle Cole as a “Walls of Excellence” recipient. Her name is engraved in the wall within our Southeastern San Diego Community. In addition to our 100% high school graduation rate, according to our surveys, the girls involved in our programs strengthen their confidence and leadership skills. We also provide career development opportunities through internships, allowing them to gain work experience and soft skills. We strive to continue birthing girls who take on leadership roles in high school and through college. Our organization is comprised of women born and raised in Southeastern San Diego who has become college graduates and professionals. We are now reaching back to our community and pulling our girls forward, together. That is what sets us apart. Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role? My mother – Brenda Jones My father & stepmother – Henry & Lorietta Conwright -My wife – Sakeenah Gallardo My daughter – Ayana Gallardo – for their ongoing encouragement, support, and volunteerism. -Our Co-Founder – Janana Ransome, who assisted us with building our nonprofit infrastructure from the ground up. -Dwayne Crenshaw, RISE San Diego – for ongoing mentoring support and technical assistance in growing DETOUR -Coach, Susan Curtain -Mentors, Denise E. Matthis & Dana Bryant -Mary Skrabucha & The O’Farrell FSS Program DETOUR Board & Staff:
- Aisha Davis
- Rosalina G. Herrera
- Joyce McBryde
- Rasheedah Rashadah
- Lawana Richmond
- Joshlyn Turner
- Janee Wilson-Key
- Tiffany Harrision
- Keyana Wilson
- Branisha Jones
- Valencia Morris
- Address: 404 Euclid Avenue #329 San Diego, CA 92114
- Website: www.detourempowers.org
- Phone: (619)750-1180
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: fancy_teen_girls
- Facebook: fancyteengirlsexpo
- Other: YouTube: FANCY Teen Girls Expo & Leadership Academy
Girls get F.A.N.C.Y at teen expoSan Diego Workforce Partnership
April 24, 2017 By Amber Shevin
On April 22, Depositing Empowerment through Outreach & Urban Redevelopment (DETOUR) hosted its seventh annual Focused and Naturally Confident Youth (F.A.N.C.Y.) Teen Girls Expo at O’Farrell Charter School in Southeastern San Diego. Since 2010, the event has helped young women of color develop confidence; explore careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) fields; connect with academic, employment and other community programs; meet community mentors who provide ongoing mentorship; and hear from local leaders.
Mayor Raquel Vasquez, the first African American mayor for the City of Lemon Grove, and San Diego City Council President Myrtle Cole came to speak to the over 200 young women in attendance about what it means to be a local leader. In addition to workshops on topics like self-confidence, healthy relationships and human trafficking prevention, CONNECT2Careers (C2C) hosted a Women in STEAM panel with:
- Amanda Cheyney, Lead Program Specialist at the San Diego Workforce Partnership
- Lt. Jackie Perez, City Outreach Officer for the United States Navy
- Angelique Taylor, Ph.D candidate in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego
“Our goal as women in the community supporting these young ladies has always been to set an example, be a resource and constantly support them during their times of need,” says Tinesia Conwright, Founder and Executive Director of DETOUR and member of SDWP’s Youth and Young Adult Committee. “We strive to ensure they are equipped with information and experiences to help them tackle many of the challenges they face each day. This year was truly full of inspiration, motivation and encouragement.”
At the end of the event, Cheyney and C2C Training Specialist Taryell Simmons, were honored with the program’s 2017 Community Impact Award for their work supporting DETOUR youth with career opportunities during the past year.
If you are hosting an event for young people in San Diego and would like C2C to provide speakers, panelists or other resources, contact Amber Shevin, C2C Training Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Empowering young womenMarch 30th, 2018
Gay San Diego
By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy
In February 2012, I had the privilege of meeting Tinesia Conwright, the passionate founder and executive director of DETOUR (Depositing Empowerment Through Outreach & Urban Redevelopment) Empowers, when she received a community service award from Urban Pride, at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. I was able to feature her, and her growing nonprofit, in my May 2012 column, while she was still working toward her master’s degree in nonprofit management and leadership, at San Diego State University. Hence, it was very exciting to sit down with Tinesia, six years later, to catch up with her and discuss the growth of the organization.
(l to r) Tinesia Conwright and Khea with a proclamation
(Courtesy of Steve Cooper II)
In the six years since we first spoke, she has received her master’s, been widely recognized for her groundbreaking work, and sought after to serve in many leadership roles. She also recently married her partner Sakeenah Gallardo. In the midst of the flurry that is often her life, Tinesia still finds great joy in giving back to her community and is seeing the fruits of her labor in a tangible way.
While the FANCY (Focused and Naturally Confident Youth) Expo remains a capstone of the organization, bringing teen girls into contact with leaders and resources that stimulate their personal and professional growth, Tinesia and her team have also developed an ambassador program and a set of scholarships. Both of these support the goal of creating pathways to higher education for young women of color.
“In January 2017, we launched our Ambassador Program, which is our ‘hands on’ approach, where we meet with the girls once a week,” she said. “With our first cohort of 10 girls, half of them were high school seniors, and all the seniors received admission into a four-year university.”
Upon completing the ambassador program, many of the young women utilize their leadership training to start “FANCY clubs” in their schools, which help to amplify the access to resources and mentorship. In addition to the school outreach, DETOUR began partnering with the San Diego County District Attorney’s office’s CARE (Community, Action, Resource, Engagement) Community Center, to reach additional at-risk girls, such as those in juvenile detention.
“There is a level of girl who has yet to be given the tools to receive affirmation- and confidence-building tools,” she pointed out. “Historically, the ‘FANCY girl’ had at least some strong sense of self-identity, and now our program expansion allows us to reach those who have not yet had role models and get them to a starting point.”
Ambassadors that served are eligible to apply for scholarships and also work closely to identify additional school funding opportunities. One of the 2016 FANCY scholarship awardees, Tatiana Jones, was selected from more than 53,000 applicants as a Gates Millennium Scholar. She is receiving a full scholarship (tuition, books, housing) from undergrad to Ph.D. at the school of her choice —Syracuse.
When asked about her FANCY journey, and how it impacted her goals, Tatiana explained, “The FANCY Teen Girls Academy has allowed me to share and voice my opinion on worldwide issues that affect women of color every day. It has also allowed me to be a muse to those who don’t believe that they can make it with all odds against them.
“My goals for the future vary from short- and long-term,” she continued. “Some of my short-term goals are to leave a legacy at my school with FANCY, by creating the project People of Preuss in which students are able to tell their stories about what they have been through and how they overcame it. My long-term goal is to receive my master’s degree in forensic science and hopefully start an organization that helps minorities who are wrongfully accused receive justice through investigation.”
Tatiana is a phenomenal success story, which shows what can be achieved with proper motivation and tools. A success story herself, Tinesia continues to uplift the young women from her community, and is optimistic about increasing the scope of services, including increased linkage to parents and guardians so that they can support their daughters to fulfill their dreams. Because higher education has never been deemed a possibility for generations in some families, building a foundation to even see the possibility is crucial.
To date, more than 1,000 girls have benefitted from the program, including 300 in 2017 alone. The FANCY Expo, which had 50 attendees in 2011, now serves more than 200 annually. Future goals include: creating transitional housing, expanding the paid internship track to employ members while they are in college, and to create a leadership academy. DETOUR Empowers is always seeking mentors, volunteers and board members; especially those who might provide legal advice, financial expertise, and business development guidance.
In the past few years, we’ve begun to see acknowledgement and representations of the power and talent that women of color possess, through films like “Hidden Figures”, the Dora Milaje female warriors of Wakanda in “Black Panther” and, of course, Congressperson Maxine “Reclaiming My Time” Waters. Whether historical, fictional or current, the pathway for women of color to reach their potential is riddled with barriers that many others do not experience. Working with Tinesia and her team, our young San Diego women can map out that “DETOUR” to success!
— Ian Morton has been in San Diego for over 20 years, working in the LGBTQ and HIV fields. He is currently a full-time student and works with the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition and the Y.E.S. San Diego LGBTQ Youth Conference. Recommendations for individuals and groups to highlight in Profiles in Advocacy may be emails to email@example.com.
DETOUR Empowers to host “22” F.A.N.C.Y. Teen Girls Expo Fundraiser
at the A/C Lounge on February 22, 2014San Diego, CA – DETOUR Empowers will host “22” a F.A.N.C.Y. Fundraiser on February 22, 2014 from 6-9pm at the AC Lounge, to raise awareness and resources for girls in San Diego County through the F.A.N.C.Y. Teen Girls Expo. The dressy-casual evening will include a cocktail reception including Hors d'oeuvres provided by the Fast Food Company, a live neo-soul performance sponsored by She Is Soul and a silent auction for several amazing packages. Items donated include tickets to the Symphony, The Old Globe, and the Museum of Photographic Arts. Funds raised from this event will directly support the fourth annual Focused And Naturally Confident Youth (“F.A.N.C.Y.”) Teen Girls Expo set to launch in San Diego’s 4th City Council District on April 12th, 2014 from 9:30am – 3:30pm at O’Farrell Charter School. The F.A.N.C.Y. Teen Girls Expo is a DETOUR Empowers annual signature event, which will host 200 teenage girls between the ages of 14 – 19. Over the past three years $3,300 in educational scholarships have been awarded to 21 expo attendees selected through a scholarship contest. “The purpose of creating this event was to inspire our local youth to increase their self-esteem and show them they have access to a great education and career opportunities locally and nationally” Tinesia Conwright, the founder of DETOUR. “We want them to believe in themselves as we expose them to greater opportunities.” Depositing Empowerment Through Outreach & Urban Redevelopment (DETOUR), is a 501(c)3 organization, uplifts, motivates, and inspires women and girls through education, empowerment, and entertainment. In 2011, DETOUR launched their keynote event, the F.A.N.C.Y. Teen Girls Expo, an annual experience dedicated to providing a platform for girls from underprivileged communities to be heard through educational workshops and panel sessions, and networking opportunities. Scholarships are provided to successful awardees allowing them to supplement enrollment cost for summer educational programs. DETOUR’s vision is to establish and support culturally enriching programs that outreach to the women and girls of Southeastern San Diego and other programs that raise awareness and promote a greater understanding and prevention of health and social issues that affect women and girls community.
Teens and Women Kick Butt for a CauseTinesia Conwright of DETOUR Empowers and creator of F.A.N.C.Y. Teen Girls Expo hosted a women’s and teens self-defense class with the help of Divas In Defense, an organization empowering women of all ages with the training and tools imperative to their personal safety and the safety of their families. This weekend’s event was educational and entertaining as close to 20 teens and women gathered at The San Diego Dance Theater in an effort to kick butt for a cause. Things from how to react in a purse snatching incident to the options available if ever being held at gunpoint, were some of the lesson’s taught. Last weekend’s fundraiser benefited two local non-profit agencies, F.A.N.C.Y Teen Girls Expo and Eleanor’s Place for Women. According to Divas In Defense, “1 in 3 women are murdered by an intimate partner, 1 in 4 college women will face a rape situation, 1 in 6 women will be a victim of assault and 1 in 87 women take a selfdefense class.” With numbers this staggering, Conwright hit the nail on the head bringing awareness to teens and women on why and how they should to defend themselves. Chris Britto, Founder and CEO of Divas In Defense shared, “Our goal is to teach you how to get out of a dangerous situation as quickly and safely as possible, fighting is always a last resort.” Conwright became passionate about women’s empowerment over five years ago when starting her non-profit organization. Saturday’s women’s self-defense class supported her mission and raised funds for worthy causes simultaneously. “This event was an excellent way to educate women on ways to defend themselves against an attack, raise awareness regarding sexual assaults against women and to support organizations who provide services for women and girls within Southeast San Diego” states Ms. Conwright. The group of women gathered on Saturday shared similar sentiments and most of them agreed that a self-defense course is necessary and they’d love to take one again! Local resident and registered nurse, Aerain Bordeaux, shared that “The best part of today was learning the different ways I can move my body in order to get out of a physically restraining circumstance. Today gave me perspective on being aware of my surroundings.” There were a few mothers who brought their teen daughters along to learn the valuable lessons taught. “The class was empowering. I think this was the best gift that I could have given my daughter. The gift of selfdefense. The little tips we get to take home may very well save our lives,” tearfully stated, mother of two, Johnique Woods. Johnique’s daughter mentioned that she feels better prepared if anything ever happened and that she would encourage all her friends to learn these skills. Local business owners came out to support the cause and to learn a tip or two in defending themselves. “I have always wanted to take a self-defense class and the way this one was promoted caught my eye. Not to mention supporting the two causes that are near and dear to my heart,” shares Ghia Ransome, owner of Mz. Impeckable Inc. Briget Winton of Briget’s Essence of Beauty Hair Salon was on hand to join in on the festivities. “It was important to me as a single woman to know how to defend myself. I have been mugged before, but I was much younger, so now I wanted to learn new skills on how to get myself out of a dangerous situation if that should ever happen again. I can’t wait to go home and practice what I learned today!” Those in attendance were fortunate to be taught by Chris Britto, who shared that he and his brother decided to start Divas In Defense three years ago after being raised by a mother who was a victim of domestic violence. Both he and his brother are fathers to daughters and believe that it is important for a woman to know how to protect themselves. Chris brought along t-shirts and self-defense tools like pepper spray and stun guns for purchase. He also shared a few quick tips for all women to take heed. 9 Protection Tips for Women Trust your woman’s intuition. Feel free to voice your concern if in an uncomfortable situation. You don’t have to deal with anything that makes you uneasy. Stay away from dark alleys and streets. Walk in a group if possible. Scan your surroundings. Pause. Look around again, especially when at an ATM. If ever being attacked, yell “Fire!” or “My baby! My baby!” Statistics prove that people go the opposite way when a victim is yelling “Help.” Don’t sit in your car in the parking lot and text. Take front and back photo copies of all ID’s and credit cards. In case they are stolen, you will have the 800#’s needed to call banks, etc. If held at gunpoint, give them what they want. Also, keep your ID’s on your body (in bra or in pockets) when going out. If an attacker gets your purse, then he won’t know where you live. Don’t talk on cell phone when out alone, walking to your car, leaving gym or grocery store, etc. It automatically cuts off 50% of your hearing and vision. You must be aware! Women with small children – put the groceries in the car before the children. You’d rather an attacker get the car and groceries instead of the car and your child. Fundraiser profits supported: DETOUR Empowers/FANCY Teen Girls Expo, an organization that uplifts, motivates and inspires women and girls to work towards self-development and self-improvement, while surrounding themselves with positive reinforcements. Eleanor’s Place for Women, an organization that provides transitional housing, clothing and mentoring to teens and women coming out of jail, drug programs and domestic violence. For more tips and to learn about available self-defense courses, visit www.divasindefense. com. To learn about the non-profit organizations, visit www.detourempowers.org and www.eleanorsplace.org. To read more stories like this, visit www. pretty-on-purpose.com Jazmin Steele
DETOUR and T.E.A.M. Inc. Hosts its Focused And Naturally Confident Youth (FANCY) Expo for Teenage Girls in the 4th District by Ghia RansomeDepositing Empowerment Through Outreach and Urban Redevelopment (DETOUR) in partnership with Teaching Empowering and Motivating (T.E.A.M.), Inc. reached out to the community and provided information regarding education, self-esteem, professional development, arts, and culture during its inaugural FANCY Expo held Saturday, June 11, 2011. More than 60 teenage girls in San Diego’s 4th City Council District gathered at the Skyline Hills Recreation Center to learn ways to increase self-confidence, stay ahead in school, plan for college, build upon natural talents and abilities, and pursue their dreams. The purpose of the event was to empower teenage girls through life development skills, while visible and available positive role-models also provided a support system. The event highlighted five facilitators: Janaha Ransome (T.E.A.M., Inc.), LaWanaRichmond (UCSD), Kadesha Carroll (Charisma Events and Consulting), Johnique Poole (The Posh Knot), and Ghia Ransome (MsImpeckable). Teen girls enjoyed free gift bags compliments of In the Pinc; 11 vendor booths including the San Diego Community College District, NAACP and San Ysidro Health Centers. Nurse Alice from the San Diego Urban League was also onsite providing free health screenings. In addition, the girls took part in interactive live entertainment provided by spoken word artist, Ccep J. Dew and collectively performed a dance choreographed and taught by Ghia “MsImpeckable” Ransome. The finale highlighted eight $100 scholarship winners, and closed out with a teen hair and fashion show by hairstylist and image consultant, Ms. Twyla. "The FANCY Expo made me feel more confident and assured me that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to if I love myself," said Keyana Wilson, expo teen participant.