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I am a scholar: my research, teaching and writing focus on participatory action research in learning and leadership contexts.

I conduct participatory action research, using an approach to human development rooted in modern psychology and ancient wisdom traditions, creativity and expressive arts, and social justice and conscious activism.

My teaching centers on participatory action research methodology, integrating scholarship on transformational learning for personal and collective liberation.

I write about PAR principles and paradigms of connection, creativity and change.

Bio
My work over the past 20 years has been dedicated to participatory action research on leadership principles and learning processes with public schools and universities, community arts organizations, entrepreneurial companies, and a women’s maximum-security prison. This work has been inspired by my passion for personal transformation, community development and social justice and grounded in scholarship in psychology (developmental, women’s, somatic and positive), critical and feminist theories, creativity studies and conscious activism. I have co-developed programs and multimedia products and co-authored scholarly and popular publications with young people, educators, entrepreneurs, artists and community organizers.

For the past decade, I have also researched embodied, emotional wisdom, drawing from modern psychology and neuroscience as well as ancient mindfulness and movement meditation traditions. My undergraduate and doctoral degrees are from Brown University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education respectively, and my coaching certification is from Applied Emotional Mastery. I currently live with my husband and two children in Florida.

To contact me, please email: melissarivera@mac.com.

photography by TammyDay.com