Candace Doby

Candace Doby talks about the interplay of courage and fear – at home or during travel abroad – and how to maximize the learning and leading from it.

Speaking Options

Breaking Down Courage To Build It Up In You(th)

In a perfect world, youth would act freely—despite risk and fear—to broaden and be themselves in school and beyond. In reality, though, they are met with societal pressures, gender expectations and racial stereotypes that challenge their ability to stand up, stand out and stand true. The key to building up courage is having and utilizing the right tools. In this entertaining and interactive presentation, Candace Doby shares tools to help attendees understand how they can conjure courage to manage fear, step outside of their comfort zones and, ultimately, express and expand their authenticity.

Attendees will:

  • Understand three key components of courage – competence, confidence and cause.
  • Audit their competence, confidence and cause levels
  • Discover how to develop those components in themselves.

Translating Travel Skills into Leadership Skills

When we are met with opportunities to travel abroad, we too often don’t understand how travel skills can translate into leadership skills that employers desire.  In this talk, Candace illustrates how travel has helped her enhance important leadership skills in the workplace and how it can do the same for those who have traveled abroad. Through delightful storytelling, she recounts how driving on the other side of the road forced her to be adaptable, how a tuk tuk driver raised her consciousness around collaboration and much more. Through this talk, the audience will be able to identify important leadership skills employers value, recognize how to connect the dots between travel and leadership skills, and understand their role in telling the most impactful stories about their travel experiences. 

TBD: Travel, Being Black & Doubt

Until the age of 27, Candace had always labeled traveling abroad as TBD, or To Be Determined. The opportunities to do so beforehand were muddled in fear of physical harm, rejection from people at home and abroad, and fear of failure. It wasn’t until she read books, heard tales from friends, and did research that she began to recognize the value of travel.  In this presentation, Candace, who has now traveled solo and accompanied to 19 countries, shares how she navigated fear, race and power to relabel travel as TBD, or The Best Decision. In this talk, participants will be better able to identify their own fears related about traveling abroad, understand how they can manage their fears through the framework of courage, and recognize how travel can help them have a more global understanding of themselves.

Selected Media

Candace’s Sizzle Reel

Article by Wesleyan College (GA)


“When Candace speaks, it is with intention. Inviting her to speak to our students during international education week was a wonderful choice! She was in front of students who have gone abroad, considering the possibility, and some who are about to embark. What made the event such a success was how relevant she was with what she spoke about and her ability to relate to each population of our students. It was thought provoking for not only the students, but also faculty and staff that attended. ”  –  Study Abroad Advisor, SUNY Plattsburgh 
“Candace was an inspiring keynote and connected greatly with our audience of students and faculty alike.  Her message on courage gave our conference participants the right motivation to get the most out of their leadership journey at our event and beyond.” –  Shahla Akbari, Director of Chapter Support, The National Society of Leadership and Success
“When I read Candace’s biography and topic description for her “Travel, Being Black, and Doubt” talk, I knew immediately that her message would align with everything Wesleyan College values — diversity and inclusion, globalization, and preparedness for life after college. As study abroad professionals, we recognize trends in the types of students who choose to go abroad and which students show more trepidation, but it feels like there is little more we can do than market diverse program offerings and advise students with reassurance through their fears. Candace’s message resonated both with the student audience and with me. The students nodded along, offering their input about their fears and what holds them back from international travel. Candace’s topic drew a diverse crowd of students — many who vocalized their concerns about being black and feeling even more foreign abroad than they sometimes do at home, and others who wanted to explore their racial privilege and understand what holds their peers back from experiencing what seems so natural to other students. When Candace broke into her riff on Kendrick Lamar’s “Fear,” the students instantly and visibly engaged with her personality and message. I hosted the talk with the hopes of opening doors for my students that seemed previously closed — by giving voice to their fears and answers to their questions. But what I (also) gained from Candace was a better understanding of how my own practice can better address those fears and how my message implicitly plays into the cultural disparities that exist in study abroad participation.” – Emily Jarvis, Director of Int’l Programs, Wesleyan College
“This session was helpful because it allowed me to understand PoC student perspective and offered suggestions for strategic planning to improve the rate of participation.” –  Academic Advisor, University of South Florida
“Candace is an excellent speaker who delivers an insightful perspective on Study Abroad. As an African American female who did not study abroad while she was in college she sees the value of Study abroad from the lens of a Corporate Marketing professional, who has now traveled all over the world. She understands the importance of encouraging students of color to study abroad and the cross-cultural learning and understanding that takes place from enriching experiences abroad. She delivers this and much more through her presentation, “Travel,Being Black and Doubt”.  – Study Abroad Coordinator, Columbus State University (Georgia)
“What a fascinating and insightful session and conversation on TBD: Travel, Being Black and Doubt. Candace’s message needs to be heard by all of us (white IE professionals & student affairs staff, really everyone on a college campus & in the workplace! ) – Jennifer Ramos, Study Abroad Director, Methodist University
“It was interesting to get the perspective of someone who both has a marketing background and personally experienced the fears surrounding studying/traveling abroad as a black woman.” – Erin Merritt, Cultural Vistas
Candace is a phenomenal and inspiring speaker! Her energy and bright spirit combined with her warmth and fearlessness have helped me find to courage to share my own voice and story. Since hearing her speak, I have learned how to ‘cross the bridge’ and use fear to launch me into a life of greater purpose and fulfillment.”  – Shawn Patrick Rivera, Life Is A Verb Participant.
“I thought this was a valuable training.”  – Study Abroad Advisor, SUNY Oneonta 
Candace is a wonderful speaker who motivated our freshman class to set their high school years out on the right path. Candace was engaging and relatable, which is important in holding the attention of high schoolers. Our students walked away from Candace‘s Speech feeling inspired to make the most out of the their freshman year. ” – Jocelyn S., Teacher, Midwood High School

About Candace

Candace Doby has been examining the definition, elements and obstacles of courage on her own for a decade. Through that process, she developed her own courage to travel abroad, an action she had long considered … scary. From her first trip abroad to Indonesia to her 19th global trip to Malaysia, Candace has continuously sharpened the tools necessary to manage fear. As a speaker, Candace combines personal storytelling with life lessons and a dynamic presence to inspire the audience to act courageously.

Candace is the author of “If Courage Could Talk”, published in 2020. She has served as an editing fellow for Travel Noire, the popular digital platform and resource for black travelers. She currently volunteers with Girls Going Global, a non-profit organization that empowers girls of color through travel and cultural exchange. Her 2017 presentation at NAFSA (Association of International Educator’s Conference – Region VII) garnered rave reviews and was nominated for the national conference.

Candace received BA/MA degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At the university, she ran track, worked at the school paper, and served as a resident advisor. She is a 15-year marketing professional who has worked for some of the best advertising agencies in the country. Her most recent work in this arena was as a Field Marketing Manager for Chipotle Mexican Grill.

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