Bear Pause: Tyneeta Canonge, Director of the Office of Equity and Community Engagement

Tyneeta Canonge Director of the Office of Equity and Community Engagement Bear Pause

Tyneeta Canonge is a New Orleans native in her fourth year as Blake's director of the Office of Equity and Community Engagement. She is a social justice advocate who loves gumbo, second lining, roller skating, karaoke and giggling.

Q: It’s been said that everyone gets 15 minutes of fame. What happened during your 15 minutes?
A: When I was in college, I was a background singer for Shirley Caesar at a gospel concert at the University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena. She was a major artist at the time and is also known as the "beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes—YOU NAME IT!" Thanksgiving song lady. The funny thing is that I can't sing.

Q: What are your three favorite smells?
A: I get very emotional when I smell things that remind me of certain family members. Magnolia trees, pecan candy and homemade ice cream remind me of my grandmother, and before I know it, somebody starts cutting onions. 

Q: What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
A: First I think, "How much longer can I snooze?" Then I give thanks to be alive another day.

Q: When was the last time you were nervous?
A: I'm a firm believer in "doing it scared" because I'm nervous just about every day. Especially when I speak in front of crowds. 

Q: If you could live inside any sitcom, which one would it be?
A: “Living Single”

Q: Who is your hero?
A: Toni Morrison and my son Myles are my heroes.

Q: If you had a theme song, what would it be?
A: "Black Parade" by Beyonce´

Q: What's your favorite family tradition?
A: My family's annual Christmas vacation talent show

Q: What did you want to be when you were small?
A: A "Solid Gold" dancer or professional roller skater

Q: If someone rented a billboard for you, what would you put on it?
A: Dear citizens of Earth: Do Better