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Candice  Benbow

Candice Benbow

Theologian, Essayist & Social Media Influencer


Candice Marie Benbow is a theologian and essayist whose work lies at the intersections of beauty, faith, feminism and culture. In 2010, she launched her first blog, Selah and Amen: Righteous Critique, to curate conversations pertinent to black faith and culture. Melding her academic formation and black church upbringing, Selah and Amen enabled Candice to provide both socio-political commentary and spiritual reflections, introducing her as a necessary millennial faith voice and public intellectual. Her work on Selah and Amen created the opportunities for her to become a guest contributor with Urban Cusp Magazine, shepreaches Magazine, Ebony.com, For Harriet and Patheos. In 2015, Candice transitioned to her current platform which houses her commentary, writing portfolio and emerging lifestyle brand. In addition to her own blog, Candice’s words can be found at ESSENCE, Glamour, VICE and MadameNoire. Read More >

Candice has consistently provided commentary and initiated dialogue that speaks specifically to black women’s experiences. Through writing, Candice seeks to tell stories of loss and healing. Her essays give voice to the shared experiences of heartbreak, grief and journeying towards toward wholeness. Following the release of Jay Z’s 13th studio album 4:4, Candice wrote 4:43, chronicling the stories of women who are caught on the underside of the growth of men. It has been read over 300,000 times and shared over 100,000 times across social media platforms.

In 2015, she created Red Lip Theology, a movement to encourage young black women to embrace their whole selves as good creation. Through Red Lip Theology, Candice merges theological ideals with beauty industry participation to celebrate black women’s creativity and spirituality. Candice annually hosts a “Red Lip Revival”, using the hashtag #redliptheology, where black women are encouraged to pair a red lip selfie with inspirational quotes and bible verses. As Red Lip Theology’s creator, Candice has been featured at many women’s empowerment conferences across the country. In December 2018, Candice launched Red Lip Theology with Candice Marie Benbow, a theologically progressive podcast designed for black women.

As a public educator, Candice cares about bridging the gap between the academy and community through digital projects, including social syllabi. In May 2016, following the release of Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade, Candice created the #LemonadeSyllabus hashtag and social media campaign. With contributions from over 70 black women, Candice released the syllabus as a free, downloadable resource of over 250 works centered around the lives of black women. Within the first week, it was downloaded over 40,000 times and has since reached over 600,000 downloads. In February 2017, Candice collaborated with the Elle.com media scholars at the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University, under the direction of Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, to create the A Seat at the Table Syllabus (#SeatSyllabus) in response to Solange Knowles’ powerful album of the same name. The syllabus centered on the voices of young women of color between the ages of 16 and 30.

Candice is also the founder of Zion Hill Media Group, a media boutique that produces messages of hope and healing across various platforms. Zion Hill’s flagship projects include a women’s lifestyle site, online courses and educational projects, and progressive faith-based content.

Above everything, Candice is most proud of establishing The LouiseMarie Foundation. Through a memorial scholarship named in honor of her mother, the foundation provides book stipends and certification exam scholarships to nursing students at historically black colleges and universities. The foundation also awards micro grants for community mental health projects and hosts various retreats for survivors and those living beyond grief and trauma.

A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Candice holds degrees from Tennessee State University, North Carolina Central University and Duke Divinity School. A North Carolina native, she considers herself a displaced Southerner living in New Jersey. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

How Do We Heal?

Speech Topics

Lil Sis is Watching: Creating a Safe & Just World for Black Girls

Reckoning with the inter-sectional oppression faced by Black women, Candice Benbow offers a challenge to take seriously what it means to prioritize the safety of Black girls so that they might flourish and thrive.

No More Emotional Terrorists: What Accountability in Love Looks Like

Through the lens of her powerful essay on heartbreak and emotional trauma, "4:43," Candice Benbow imagines a world where integrity and accountability ground intimate partner relationships.

There Are No White Women in Wakanda: Toward an Intersectional Feminism

Discussing the continued failure of mainstream feminism to adequately address the experiences of all women, Candice Benbow underscores the importance of inter-sectional feminism to create worlds of equity, justice and safety.

Lead With Kindness: A Case for Grace in a Polarizing World

Grounded in her viral experience of offering a cake to her noisy neighbor, Candice Benbow shares the importance of leaning into our shared humanity to create communities of care, cultivating effective communication and trust building.

All Dogs Go To Heaven: On Death, Dying & the Beauty of Creation

Through the loss of her dog, Candice Benbow shares her vision of Heaven and challenges the Christian idea that we are given resurrected, new bodies as doctrine that teaches us to see our current bodies as inferior.

Red Lip Theology

Taking a walk down memory lane to explore the intersections of beauty, faith, feminism and culture in the lives of Black women, Candice Benbow discusses the millennial woman’s journey towards progressive theology, wholeness and freedom.