Author

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Courtney E. Martin

Courtney E. Martin was a columnist for On Being. 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.

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Tools for a more honest perspective on where we stand on the socioeconomic spectrum — and on rewriting the story we tell ourselves about how we got where we are, and what we can do for those less fortunate.
In doing good community work, Courtney observes, our focus on ingenuity, success, and failure is sometimes misplaced. Instead, she looks to her mother and the film festival she founded for guidance — on providing for our communities with humility and unfussy boldness.
#MeToo testimonies are flooding our social media feeds. And for men, realizing complicity can be uncomfortable. Our columnist sees this collective discomfort as a spiritual challenge — one that men must meet earnestly, first in themselves, and then in each other.
From college dorms to cohousing communities, living with other people can be chaotic and messy. Our columnist considers that these tensions may actually be healthy and essential to building resilient community.
Avoiding burnout from the endless news cycle is important, but so is staying meaningfully and personally present to urgent realities that deserve our attention.