Miranda Rivers is a program specialist for the program on nonviolent action at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she conducts applied research on social movements and supports training and education efforts for movements working to advance justice and build sustainable peace.

Prior to joining USIP, Rivers provided communications and programming support for ENDA Tiers Monde, an international organization based in Dakar, Senegal that works with community-based groups on issues related to sustainable development.

Rivers also worked at the Somali American United Council in Phoenix, Arizona, where she spent several years developing a curriculum and teaching an English-language program to refugees from several countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria. Miranda began her career as a news associate for the Associated Press, writing and editing breaking news and more in-depth stories on a range of topics.

Miranda holds a master's degree in international relations with a focus on conflict resolution and negotiation from American University’s School of International Service. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Arizona State University.

Publications By Miranda

New Evidence: How Religion Aids Peaceful Change

New Evidence: How Religion Aids Peaceful Change

Thursday, September 30, 2021

By: Miranda Rivers; Jason Klocek, Ph.D.; Sandra Tombe

The pullback in 2021 of international military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa’s Sahel region not only shows the limits of such foreign interventions. It forces policymakers to more urgently examine other ways to support the sustainable social changes that can stabilize violence-stricken nations. New USIP research sharpens an insight about one powerful method to achieve such changes—nonviolent, citizens’ movements that improve governance and justice. Effectively, the research shows, religion helps more often than we may think. Of more than 180 nonviolent campaigns for major political change since World War II, a majority have involved religion in some way.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Religion; Nonviolent Action

Precarity and Power: Reflections on Women and Youth in Nonviolent Action

Precarity and Power: Reflections on Women and Youth in Nonviolent Action

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

By: Jonathan Pinckney, Ph.D.; Miranda Rivers

Examples abound of women and youth on the front lines of recent nonviolent action campaigns—from Alaa Salah leading demonstrators in Sudan in 2019 to the thousands of young people marching against the coup in Myanmar in early 2021. Yet significant social, cultural, and economic barriers can prevent both women and youth from participating in nonviolent action. This report, based in part on firsthand reports from activists in seven diverse countries, sheds light on these barriers and makes concrete recommendations for maximizing the impact of women and youth in nonviolent action.

Type: Peaceworks

Nonviolent Action

Curbing Corruption after Conflict: Anticorruption Mobilization in Guatemala (Spanish)

Curbing Corruption after Conflict: Anticorruption Mobilization in Guatemala (Spanish)

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

By: Walter Flores; Miranda Rivers

Este informe analiza la lucha contra la corrupción en Guatemala llevada a cabo por movimientos sociales en los últimos cinco años, y se hace foco en sus principales éxitos y desafíos al trabajar para avanzar la transparencia, la responsabilidad y la buena gobernanza. Las lecciones aprendidas de los esfuerzos de los movimientos sociales para lograr un cambio positivo en Guatemala pueden aplicarse a otros movimientos del mundo que se encuentran en contextos similares. Las lecciones también tienen mayor relevancia para los actores internacionales que ayudan a los estados a reconstruir la paz y la gobernanza democrática luego de un conflicto violento prolongado.

Type: Special Report

Nonviolent Action

Four Takeaways on the Intersection of Nonviolent Action and Peace Processes

Four Takeaways on the Intersection of Nonviolent Action and Peace Processes

Thursday, May 13, 2021

By: Jonathan Pinckney, Ph.D.; Miranda Rivers; Tabatha Thompson; Adam Gallagher

How can nonviolent action and peacebuilding work together? And how can they be brought together to promote positive long-term political change? Although mass nonviolent action movements are taking place at an increasingly rapid rate, they are succeeding in achieving their goals less frequently, and where initially peaceful demonstrations have been met by state violence from Myanmar to Colombia, better understanding these questions is crucial.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Nonviolent Action; Peace Processes

What Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Movement Can Learn from the Past

What Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption Movement Can Learn from the Past

Thursday, January 21, 2021

By: Miranda Rivers; Carlos Mendoza

Guatemalans have once again risen up by the thousands to demand major changes in how their country is governed. Their demands are intended to usher in reforms that will improve quality of life for citizens reeling from the impacts of two deadly hurricanes, as well as health and economic crises that have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The demonstrations are reminiscent of the 2015 protests that prompted the resignations of top officials, including the country’s president. However, that movement fell short of broader, structural change. This time around, protesters can draw on lessons learned from the past to achieve long-term reform and target Guatemala’s persistent systems of corruption.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Nonviolent Action; Democracy & Governance

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