Courtney E. Martin has been called “one of our most insightful culture critics and one of our finest young writers” by Parker Palmer, and her writing has been described as “varied, transformational, and necessary for us all” by Jane Fonda and “a hardcover punch in the gut” by Arianna Huffington.
Courtney is a weekly columnist for On Being, a Peabody Award-winning public radio conversation, podcast, and Webby Award-winning website. In fall 2010, Beacon Press published Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, in which Courtney profiled eight young people doing social justice work on the ground. She spoke on feminist and activism at the inaugural TEDWomen Conference in December 2010 and her talk was subsequently published on TED.com. Courtney’s first book, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women was awarded a Books for a Better Life nomination and was called “smart and spirited” by The New York Times.
Courtney is the co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, along with New York Times columnists David Bornstein and Tina Rosenberg. She is also a founding partner in Valenti Martin Media, a communications consulting firm focused on making social justice organizations more effective in movement building and strategic communication. She and her partner, Vanessa Valenti, released a report on the future of feminism in conjunction with the Barnard Center for Research on Women.
Courtney also does ongoing strategy work with TED and the Aspen Institute. (For more on her ideas about strategy work and journalistic integrity in the new media landscape, go here.) She is on the Board of Directors of the Center for Courage and Renewal and the the Council of Advisors of the Wellesley Centers for Women.
Courtney is an Editor Emerita at Feministing.com, which won the Hillman Prize for Blog Journalism and the Columbia Journalism Review calls “head and shoulders above almost any writing on women’s issues in mainstream media.”
Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, The American Prospect, The Nation, Glamour, Mother Jones, Utne, and a variety of anthologies, among other publications. Courtney has appeared on Good Morning America, The TODAY Show, The O’Reilly Factor, CNN, and MSNBC, among other major media outlets. She is also a widely sought after speaker, who gives several dozen lectures and speeches annually, at universities and events across the U.S.
Courtney’s other books include: Project Rebirth: Survival and the Strength of the Human Spirit from 9/11 Survivors, released in conjunction with a documentary film, called Rebirth, by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jim Whitaker, CLICK: When We Knew We Were Feminists, co-edited with J. Courtney Sullivan, and The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive, the life story of AIDS activist Marvelyn Brown.
The Secret Society for Creative Philanthropy, which Courtney founded in 2006, has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Courtney is a recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics and has or will hold residencies at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, Hedgebrook, and the Santa Fe Art Institute.
Courtney earned her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in political science and sociology from Barnard College, and her Master of Arts in writing and social change from the Gallatin School at New York University.
When she isn’t working, which is not nearly enough of the time, she is exploring her new neighborhood in Oakland with her husband and collaborator, John Cary, and her baby girl, Maya (named after all the visionary Mayas like Maya Lin and Maya Angelou), ravenously reading, watching depressing documentaries, or creating unselfconscious dance parties with her amazing friends.