i write about love, art and alchemy on blogs and in books.

i dance, study and teach body wisdom via movement meditation practices.

i conduct participatory action research, using an approach to learning, healing and human development rooted in ancient spiritual traditions, creativity and expressive arts, and social justice and conscious activism.

{for more information about my writing and research offerings, please visit my professional website, melissarivera.us. thank you.}

current creative collaborations

with hopeful world and aem, we are offering your emotional wisdom, an online journey into the science and soul of our emotional landscapes.

with el puente and the public science project, we are exploring the way a community organization engages a learning movement (rooted in creativity and social action), using participatory action research

with a ford foundation collaborative (led by michelle fine), we are developing a book (art of revolution) with/about young people and their transformative experiences with the expressive arts in critical inquiry and social activism

with nlerap (national latino/a education research and policy project), we are integrating participatory action research-based, community-action principles and practices to inform and transform teacher education

with 3 sisters village, we are sharing stories on our collaborative blog, inviting community experiences and creating poetry and photography books

with the 5rhythms, off the mat, into the world  and open heart project communities, i am deepening my self-exploration and expression via movement meditation practices

previous projects and study

my work over the past 15 years has been dedicated to participatory action research projects with public schools, community arts organizations, and a women’s maximum-security prison. this work was inspired by my passion for personal transformation, community development and social justice and grounded in scholarship in psychology (developmental, women’s, humanistic), critical theory and creativity studies.

i have co-developed arts and educational programs and multimedia projects and co-authored scholarly and popular publications with young people, educators, artists and community organizers.

i have also intensively studied and practiced movement arts for more than 20 years, including modern, afro-cuban and salsa dance, vinyasa yoga, yoga trance dance and 5 rhythms.

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.