Courtney E. Martin

Courtney E. Martin

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

She is currently working on a book titled The New Better Off, exploring 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 baby girl Maya. Read more about her work at www.courtneyemartin.com.
Friday
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.

BY Courtney E. Martin
February 19, 2016

The big stage of TED can provide a platform for dreaming big, talking big, and a big ego. As our columnist prepares to present at TED2016, she looks to Pema Chödrön and the bigness of her own ideas to make a difference through the massive platform.

BY Courtney E. Martin
February 12, 2016

Cross-generational relationships may be one of our greatest untapped resources today. But, people in their "third act" of living are creating new encounters and meaningful differences among youth and our communities.

BY Courtney E. Martin
February 05, 2016

What happens when our sense of identity doesn't line up with how others see us? Our columnist reflects on the complicated work of asserting our identity, which often means wearing the parts we'd like to shed with pride.

BY Courtney E. Martin
January 29, 2016

The uproar over the Academy Awards failure to nominate any actors of color this year is surfacing questions of the value of "diversity." But, as our columnist points out, in trying to adjust our aperture of belonging, we must describe the fullness of one's identity.

BY Courtney E. Martin
January 22, 2016

The most romantic relationships just may be our platonic friendships. But, as we age, it gets more difficult to establish new friendships with those of the same sex. Our columnist celebrates the inimitable joy of platonic courtship and female attachment.

BY Courtney E. Martin
January 15, 2016

Courtney Martin delivers a host of solutions focusing on how you can make our government and our politics better again.

BY Courtney E. Martin
January 08, 2016

For a brief, unexpected moment this past Tuesday, politics let down its guard. And so did much of America. President Obama's display of a emotion opens up our columnist to her own humanity and faith in politics... if only for a fleeting moment.

BY Courtney E. Martin
January 01, 2016

There is no norm when it comes to the prototypical family unit. And, family as we all know is at once our breaking point and our healing refuge. With the holiday season behind us, Courtney Martin asks us to embrace the family we have and resist the idealized version that never existed.

BY Courtney E. Martin
December 18, 2015

2016 is around the corner. What’s the question you’re putting to bed and what’s the one that’s just being born within you at this transitional time of year?

BY Courtney E. Martin
December 11, 2015

In periods of fear, the catalysts of panic can sometimes be ourselves. Courtney Martin on the importance of mitigating our own fight-or-flight response in order to retain our compassion and humanity toward one another.

BY Courtney E. Martin
December 03, 2015

Becoming invested in too simple of a moral story about others can lead to dehumanized outlooks. Our columnist remembers her childhood home and the lessons she carries with her today.

BY Courtney E. Martin
November 26, 2015

Genuine gratitude isn't necessarily about happiness or a soft, warm glow. It's messy and gritty and physical. From appreciating the glowing moon to marveling at the strange miracle of the human body, a celebration of thankfulness.

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