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
December 01, 2016

A reflection on reimagining American identity, which may require us to break down our most basic assumptions about the society we live in in uncomfortable ways.

BY Courtney E. Martin
November 19, 2016

This moment forces us to face challenging questions about who we are as a nation, who we want to become, and how to get there.

BY Courtney E. Martin
November 13, 2016

We cast ballots for the candidates who stand for our values. But is our political instinct also a quest for identity? An exploration of the desire for belonging at the heart of our voting drive.

BY Courtney E. Martin
November 04, 2016

Real love for our nation calls us to look at ourselves, as citizens, whole. A long view on the future of a beloved and broken America, and our potential to shape it moving forward.

BY Courtney E. Martin
October 28, 2016

If you could speak to a passed friend or family member, what would you say? An exploration of the healing that can happen when we stay in relationship with the ones we love, even beyond the end of life.

BY Courtney E. Martin
October 21, 2016

Donald Trump's statements about women may not represent most men, but they do point to a larger dynamic at play between the sexes. Thoughts on the performative roles of men in public, and the harm it does to women and themselves.

BY Courtney E. Martin
October 14, 2016

Like all of us, Courtney Martin wants the best for her family, and rightly so. But from education to strollers, the best is often only accessible to a certain group. She reimagines responsible parenting as embodied care for one's own, as well as for the families of strangers.

BY Courtney E. Martin
October 07, 2016

Courtney Martin on C. Nicole Mason's new memoir and turning toward what's uncomfortable to witness, and then acting on what we feel.

BY Courtney E. Martin
September 30, 2016

Some emotional wounds need closure to heal, but there are times when the best way forward is to let go. Courtney Martin on mending our deepest relationships by embracing the paradox of love and imperfection.

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.

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