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Candice  Benbow

Candice Benbow

Theologian, Essayist & Social Media Influencer

Candice Benbow

Theologian, Essayist & Social Media Influencer


Candice Marie Benbow situates her work at the intersections of beauty, baking, faith, feminism and culture, giving voice to Black women’s shared experiences of healing and journeying toward wholeness.

She has written for various outlets including ESSENCE Magazine, Glamour Magazine, The Root, VICE, Shondaland, MadameNoire and the Me Too Movement. She was named by Sojourners as one of “10 Christian Women Shaping the Church in 2020”.

In 2015, Candice created Red Lip Theology to encourage women to embrace themselves as good creation. Through Red Lip Theology, she 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 women are encouraged to pair a red lip selfie with inspirational words. Her new book, Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who've Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn't Enough, is a moving essay collection promoting freedom, self-love, and divine wholeness for Black women and opening new levels of understanding and ideological transformation for non-Black women and allies.

At a difficult time in her life, Candice found healing through baking and can be found most days of the week in her kitchen. Recognizing baking as a spiritual practice and strategy for optimal mental health, Candice chronicles her journey through “Prayers&Pound Cakes. Bundts&Blessings”, a monthly baking ritual, and “Healing at 325º” holiday baking bundles.

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 reached over 600,000 downloads. National and international libraries created "Lemonade Stands" to highlight the books from the Syllabus that were available. Universities in the United States and the UK have used the Lemonade Syllabus to design new Black feminist and womanist thought courses and many women formed book clubs to journey through the Syllabus together.

Some of Candice’s most important work has been partnering with religious institutions, faith leaders and communities to reimagine how faith can be a tool of liberation and transformation for women and girls. Through critical reflection of theological positions, communal practices and long held ideologies, Candice challenges these sacred spaces of influence to think critically about how they see God and the world.

Candice is also the Founder of Zion Hill Media Group, a media boutique that produces messages of hope and healing across various platforms. In memory of her mother, Candice established The LouiseMarie Foundation to support HBCU nursing students and provide micro grants for community mental health projects.

A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Candice holds degrees from Tennessee State University, North Carolina Central University and Duke Divinity School. Candice is represented by APB Speakers and Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management.

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.