Courtney Martin

Courtney E. Martin is a Prospect senior correspondent. She is the author of Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists (Beacon Press). You can read more about her work at www.courtneyemartin.com.

Recent Articles

Life and Death in the Climate Change Debate

As we push Congress to pass a climate bill, let's not forget the grass roots.

(AP Photo/Denis Paquin).Billy Brage, 6, of Philadelphia, signs a quilted flag on the Mall in Washington Saturday, April 22,1995 as part of Earth Day celebrations. Kids for a Clean Environment unveiled the flag containing colored squares made by children i

Elisa Young brushed her feathery blond hair back from her face, and her eyes grew teary as she looked at the panel of environmental activists and asked, "How do you keep up the fight under such difficult circumstances?" Young, who describes herself as a "survivalist, not an environmentalist" is a seventh-generation Appalachian and has been fighting coal-plant proposals in Meigs County, Ohio, for years.

LaDonna Redmond, a statuesque African American woman from Chicago, responded immediately, "You just keep fighting. What else are you going to do?" She recalled her own struggle with neighborhood gang-bangers who didn't want her to open an organic food market in their area. She concluded with one of her trademark sayings: "Every community has the intellect to heal itself."

Don't Call It a 'He-cession'

Why are we pitting men against women? The economic crisis affects everyone -- and we can only fix it together.

A man and woman learn about employment opportunities at a career fair hosted by the University of Illinois. (Flickr/Jeremy Wilburn)

Just in time for Father's Day, Men's Health editor-in-chief David Zincenko penned a USA Today op-ed heralding the "Great He-cession" as one more example of how men are "an endangered species." Citing statistics about men's declining job security, shorter life span, and lack of government attention, he pits women against men in a delusional race for resources. He writes: "Let's think about men. It's about time we caught a break, and a he-covery would be just the thing." As if thinking about men would be a big societal shift.

The Future of Philanthropy

New movements reacting against the "nonprofit-industrial complex" are pushing the funding world to give grants with fewer strings attached -- and to give directly to grass-roots groups.

Back in 2006, philanthropist sisters Swanee Hunt and Helen LaKelly Hunt struck up a partnership with the Women's Funding Network, an umbrella group for over 145 organizations that fund "women's solutions" globally. Together, they decided that they would strive to raise $150 million in three years for women's funds across the world. It felt like a real stretch, an outlandish number even for a group of women known for giving generously and having far reaching networks of like-minded philanthropists.

Honor Military Families with Adequate Health Care

The VA is still operating as if all of its patients are young, childless, and male -- and veterans' families are paying the price.

"I've had friends who showed up at their local VA [Veterans' Affairs] with children and were either chastised by their health care provider, or even refused services completely," Kayla Williams, author of Love My Rifle More Than You, testified last week in front of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs -- or at least the fraction of the committee that showed up for a roundtable titled "The Growing Needs of Women Veterans: Is the VA Ready?"

How Do Americans Really Feel About God?

The religious right's era of unquestioning Christianity is over. In fact, Americans have incredibly complex feelings about God and country.

At a conference held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Dalai Lama greets scientists with a traditional bow. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

Last year, I appeared as a guest on right-wing pundit Laura Ingraham's radio show. She and I were debating the merits of comprehensive sexual education, and something I said really set her off. "Do you even believe in God?!" she screamed. I could almost see the blond flyaways standing up on their offended little ends.

Not usually flummoxed by blowhards like Laura, I have to admit I was thrown off. I took a deep breath and then answered, "I think, like most Americans, I have a complex relationship with the idea of God."

"Most Americans," she spit back, "are Christian!"

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