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
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.

BY Courtney E. Martin
November 20, 2015

What are the mysteries that remain once our well-crafted lives take a detour down uncharted narratives? A reflection on the messiness of a life less authored and more lived.

BY Courtney E. Martin
November 13, 2015

Being a mother is an act of transformation and discovery. Courtney Martin examines the gifts of obliteration of motherhood, and the maternal love that rushes in as responsibility beckons.

BY Courtney E. Martin
November 06, 2015

To turn down an opportunity seems counterintuitive. But how can we transform an excess of asks into opportunities for other people to shine? A column on living the less-harried life that "keeps us weighted down with self-importance."

BY Courtney E. Martin
October 30, 2015

In the absence of a religious tradition, is there a fundamental need for prayer? Courtney Martin on finding comfort in praying to her late, burly grandfather rather than a god to whom she couldn't relate.

BY Courtney E. Martin
October 23, 2015

Courtney Martin reclaims the lost art of letter writing with this epistolary correspondence to Parker Palmer about purpose and how we can seize it while still acting with integrity.

BY Courtney E. Martin
October 16, 2015

It's easy to mentally sanitize and romanticize the creative process, but the real work is done in the clutter and the mess of daily living. An enconium on imperfection, self-doubt, and the importance of pushing through.

BY Courtney E. Martin
October 09, 2015

We often think of "genius" as a belonging to individuals, not as something nurtured by community. Courtney Martin challenges this idea, thinking back on the writers group that continues to inspire her work today.

BY Courtney E. Martin
October 02, 2015

The once thick, black line between personal and professional connections appears to be fading. Its replacement is a new kind of network rooted in our relatedness and built on the generosity authentic friendships.

BY Courtney E. Martin
September 25, 2015

What if we stopped focusing on scale so much, stopped equating size with success? Courtney Martin looks to a new better off where we invest in people and businesses within walking distance for a more stable economy and community.

BY Courtney E. Martin
September 18, 2015

Studies show that increasingly fewer people are friends with our colleagues at work. Longing for more authentic work lives, a new wave of workers are shedding their corporate personas, turning to freelance work, and curating their own working communities in refreshing new ways.

BY Courtney E. Martin
September 11, 2015

Success so often is identified by how children transcend their parents' class and collar. Rather than continuing this cultural narrative, could the future of work in America be more than just pulling up our bootstraps and climbing the ladder?

BY Courtney E. Martin
September 04, 2015

The frenetic pace of life can be overwhelming, making ritual even more necessary. But it doesn't have to be religious, or even spiritual in nature. Daily tasks can ground and center us, clearing our minds and helping us focus on the profundity in the seemingly mundane of this world.

BY Courtney E. Martin
August 28, 2015

Does destiny and fate truly exist? An age-old question, to be sure. Courtney Martin ponders that question and traces how each of our paths may be shaped by willful action and serendipitous encounters along the way.

BY Courtney E. Martin
August 21, 2015

In an age of iPhone and Instagram ubiquity, we capture and curate in ways unimaginable only a few decades ago. And this connects us in unexpected ways. But, it also can have a cost, one that pulls us out of the moment.

BY Courtney E. Martin
August 07, 2015

Rituals provide structure for the full spectrum of our emotional lives - but for those who don't identify with an organized religion, how are rituals developed? Courtney Martin ponders the "muddy, sacred" experience of creating rituals.

Pages