Courtney E. Martin

Courtney E. Martin

is a columnist for On Being. Her column appears every Friday.

Her newest book, The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream, explores how people are redefining the American dream (think more fulfillment, community, and fun, less debt, status, and stuff). Courtney is the co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is also co-founder and partner at Valenti Martin Media and FRESH Speakers Bureau, and editor emeritus at Feministing.com.

Courtney has authored/edited five books, including Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, and Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women. Her work appears frequently in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Courtney has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor, and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics and a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre. She lives with her partner in life and work, John Cary, in Oakland, and their daughters Maya and Stella. Read more about her work at www.courtneyemartin.com.
Friday
BY Courtney E. Martin
September 23, 2016

We bring different aspects of ourselves to each interaction, to each unique circumstance. But where do we find space to be true to ourselves? Courtney Martin on the radical, courageous act of embracing ourselves in all our flaws.

BY Courtney E. Martin
September 16, 2016

To stay curious and questioning in the modern world can be a lonely endeavor, and yet there is refuge and wisdom when we gather. Courtney Martin​ on restoring our moral imaginations, together.

BY Courtney E. Martin
September 09, 2016

The world as we know it is undergoing a profound transformation. Courtney Martin scrutinizes our most dearly-held defaults and finds an abundance of innovators challenging the traditional model of success.

BY Courtney E. Martin
July 22, 2016

The final days of expectation can bring surprising clarity. Courtney Martin pauses in this suspended space, and marvels at the end of the wait for new life, in all its gritty wonder.

BY Courtney E. Martin
July 15, 2016

The tension we feel at this moment in our history can be an opening for catharsis. Courtney Martin engages with perspectives in the dialogue that provide opportunities for greater understanding.

BY Courtney E. Martin
July 07, 2016

Reckoning with the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling by the police, Courtney Martin pens an impassioned missive to her white children: to understand their privilege, redistribute power, ask questions, and always to hold each other accountable.

BY Courtney E. Martin
July 01, 2016

In journalism and in life, a generous understanding of people's stories is crucial. Courtney Martin with more questions and counsel for imagining each other in all our complexity.

BY Courtney E. Martin
June 24, 2016

How do we avoid cliches and generalizations of entire groups of people? We must tell better stories and more of them by more people who deepen our understanding of the nuances rather than reducing them to a single narrative.

BY Courtney E. Martin
June 16, 2016

Blame abounds in times of crisis, but this can be a destructive endeavor. Instead, Courtney Martin advocates for emotional generosity to ourselves and each other, and for holding ourselves accountable for bringing about a better reality.

BY Courtney E. Martin
June 10, 2016

Sometimes our wildest dreams are not for ourselves, but for those we love. Courtney Martin pens a powerful message of hope for her daughters' future, and for the future of women in the world.

BY Courtney E. Martin
June 03, 2016

For Courtney Martin feminism is a living, breathing thing. But in an age of gloss and soundbites, how can the movement remain inclusive and sustain its influence?

BY Courtney E. Martin
May 27, 2016

The best ideas are often the simplest ones, but their inception is mysterious and complex. Courtney Martin on serendipity and community, rather than process, as the crucial elements of creativity.

BY Courtney E. Martin
May 20, 2016

Using a children's book on death as a scaffolding, Courtney Martin makes a case for kids teaching adults how to work through grief and death in better ways.

BY Courtney E. Martin
May 13, 2016

Entering the home stretch of her pregnancy, Courtney Martin takes a closer look at the bizarre phenomenon from which we are all brought forth into the world.

BY Courtney E. Martin
May 06, 2016

Even with years of experience, the parenting journey is one of constant learning — about a budding life, and about oneself. Courtney Martin gives thanks for the grit and grace of new motherhood.

BY Courtney E. Martin
April 28, 2016

A heated political climate can bring a blaming instinct to the fore. Courtney Martin on pointing our fingers inward instead of out, and reimagining the capacity we already have to rehabilitate the American dream.

BY Courtney E. Martin
April 22, 2016

More and more fathers-to-be are expressing hopes to have daughters. Courtney Martin explores the well-intentioned feminism behind this desire, and finds that focusing on masculinity might be even more radical.

BY Courtney E. Martin
April 15, 2016

How do we navigate the fluid dynamics of sex, gender, and identity in our children when we are drawn to the comfort of binaries? Pregnant with her second child, our columnist wonders out loud about her own inclinations and attachments while raising children.

BY Courtney E. Martin
April 08, 2016

We're confronted with choices of wanting to do what's best for our children and our communities. But sometimes they come into conflict with each other. What do we do then? Courtney Martin on the intersections of public and personal life as she makes school choices for her daughter.

BY Courtney E. Martin
April 01, 2016

The digital sphere is a frontier where we assert our identities, and, in times of trauma, express our grief. With an appeal to the humanity behind this instinct, Courtney Martin questions how our empathy might become more than performance.

BY Courtney E. Martin
March 25, 2016

Being a published writer, especially of books, is a celebrated marker of accomplishment in our culture. But is it the only way to leave our mark? Courtney Martin with some helpful advice for the struggling writer, or for uncovering a better channel for our creative drive.

BY Courtney E. Martin
March 18, 2016

Paul Kalanithi's latest book spurs a pregnant mother to recognize the myth of meaning-making. Our columnist on reckoning with ambiguous endings, and the spectrum of imperfection on which we must all live and thrive.

BY Courtney E. Martin
March 11, 2016

The things a parent is willing to do for, and put up with, her child is beyond comprehension. A thriving, non-religious mother talks meaningful about the spiritual experience of raising a child.

BY Courtney E. Martin
March 04, 2016

What has your grandest adventure been? Between adventure and safety lies a world of possibility. Courtney Martin's case for gutsy endeavors, big and small.

BY Courtney E. Martin
February 26, 2016

A mentor-mentee relationship, like any good one, requires commitment, openness, and honesty. Courtney Martin gives counsel on building relationships of mutual joy and learning with those in our lives whom we admire.

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