Behind the Screens: How to Help a Friend

On Saturday, October 21, 2023 from 9am to 9pm, the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is hosting its 5th annual Behind the Screens symposium in the Duncan Anderson Design Gallery in person at CSULB. This year’s theme is “How to Help a Friend” experiencing gender or power-based harassment, abuse, or violence. Through engaging context conversations and a game design sprint, attendees will apply what they’ve learned to create their own innovative, technology-inspired solutions for how to help a friend.

We will prepare you to help a friend by: 

  • Exploring cultural contexts for gender and power-based harassment, abuse, or violence
  • Learning which phrases are the most helpful and supportive 
  • Discussing secondary trauma
  • Practicing mindfulness and wellness interventions
  • Identifying campus and community resources
  • Using supportive technologies
  • Creating a digital safety plan
  • Using game design to innovate new technologies to help a friend

There will be free food all day and counselors in attendance should you need them.

Students in attendance can also participate in opportunity drawings for 10 $25 Beach Bucks gift cards!

Event Resources

CSULB is located on the sacred site of Puvungna. We acknowledge that we are on the land of the Tongva/Gabrieleño and the Acjachemen/Juaneño Nations who have lived and continue to live here. We recognize the Tongva/Acjachemen Nations and their spiritual connection as the first stewards and the traditional caretakers of this land. We thank them for their strength, perseverance and resistance in their continued struggle for recognition. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work at the sacred site of Puvungna, and we pay our respects to their ancestors and relatives--past, present, and emerging.

9:00am - 10:00am Welcome Activities

10:00am - 10:45am How to Help a Friend from Different Cultural Backgrounds with Imani Moses Maria Mendez

11:00am - 12:00pm How to Help a Friend Find the Right Resources with SuCasa--Maria Mendez YWCA--Yisel Lopez Munos Imani Moses Women’s Shelter Long Beach--Nadia Parada CAPS--Diane Hayashimo Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center--Karmelle Ramillano

12:00pm - 12:15pm Mindfulness Wellness Intervention with Dr. Aaron Cargile

12:15pm - 12:30pm Lunch

12:30pm - 1:45pm How to Help a Friend When it Feels Uncomfortable/Lunch The Bystander Moment

1:45pm - 2:30pm How to Help a Friend By Saying Helpful Things with Dr. Courtney Ahrens

2:30pm - 3:00pm How to Help a Friend Navigate Digital Technologies with Dr. Ebony Utley

3:00pm - 3:30pm How to Help a Friend Create a Digital Safety Plan with Maria Mendez

3:30pm - 4:00pm How to Help a Friend while Maintaining Your Boundaries Karmelle Ramillano

4:00pm - 4:15pm Movement Wellness Intervention with Dr. Sarah Schrank

4:15pm - 6:00pm How to Help a Friend through Game Design Introduction Playable Fiction

6:00pm - 6:15pm Dinner

6:15pm - 7:30pm How to Help a Friend through Game Design Collaboraction/Dinner Playable Fiction

7:30pm - 8:30pm Presentations

8:30pm - 9:00pm Debrief and Closing Remarks


Dr. Courtney Ahrens headshot

Dr. Courtney Ahrens is a Professor in the Psychology Department at CSULB. Her research focuses on sexual assault and intimate partner violence with a specific emphasis on help-seeking and disclosure. She regularly collaborates with colleagues in the US and abroad on research projects and applied efforts to prevent and address sexual assault. She is also actively involved in training faculty on responding to student disclosures, running a sexual assault resistance program, and overseeing outreach and education efforts at CSULB.

Dr. Aaron Cargile headshot

Dr. Aaron Cargile holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies and is a professor at California State University, Long Beach. Over the past twenty-seven years, he has dialogued about race and led students on journeys into mindfulness. His publications include over 40 articles, reviews, and book chapters– most recently in Human Communication Research. In addition, he has studied Buddhism for over twenty years and is a student of Sogan Rinpoche.

Diane Hayashino headshot

Diane Hayashino is a licensed staff psychologist at Counseling and Psychological Services at California State University, Long Beach. Her professional identity as an Asian American female counseling psychologist has been influenced through various experiences over her career working in higher education for the past 20 years. Her areas of specialization include college student mental health, working with sexual assault survivors, and Asian American communities. She received her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oregon and completed her doctoral internship and post doc work at UC Irvine Student Health and Counseling Services.

Mary Kayler headshot

Mary Kayler As an award-winning educator and facilitator, Mary Kayler understands how to transform people’s lives. Mary is affectionately called ‘fire starter’ and is a visionary. Her depth of expertise and creativity inspires educators and industry leaders to take an innovative approach to address engagement challenges, essential skills & development, collaboration, and teamwork to enhance a supportive culture that promotes long lasting learning and development.

Adam Mayes headshot

Adam Mayes talks. A lot. And has only 100 words for his bio. He's a veteran game designer, which is shorthand for "Old." He was in the games industry for 20 years. He believes that we can save the world using game design. So he designed an award winning course using game design thinking to solve public health issues. As part of Playable Fiction, he continues to use his powers for good by designing educations as games. He's not a fan of writing bios or talking about himself in the third person.

Maria Mendez headshot

Maria Mendez With a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from UCSD, Maria Mendez is committed to shaping her career around the domains of community health and engagement. She boasts a diverse spectrum of experience ranging from health education initiatives within rural villages abroad to spearheading preventative education campaigns addressing issues encompassing domestic violence and substance abuse in the expansive locale of Los Angeles County. Currently, Maria oversees the outreach program at a domestic violence agency, where she is at the forefront of prevention education programs in the Long Beach Unified School District and Paramount Unified School District. 

Imani Moses headshot

Imani Moses is a Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Educator at California State University Long Beach. She has spent over 16 years working to educate folks about gender-based violence by conducting workshops and events regarding specific gender issues, served as a motivational speaker and mentored and encouraged youth to pursue a higher education. Imani is actively involved in the Los Angeles and Long Beach community and serves as a Women Advocacy Intern. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Science with an emphasis on Community Health Education and a minor in Child Development.

Nadia Parada headshot Women Shelter of Long Beach logo

Nadia Parada is a passionate social services and communications professional with a focus to help underserved populations with a “whatever it takes” approach. She has a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Antioch University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from California State University Fullerton. She also has a certification in Positive Practices for Behavioral Support from the Institute of Applied Behavioral Analysis and the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Her training and academic experience include system thinking, leadership models, mental health first aid, trauma-informed care, and evidence-based practices. 

Jaye Prado, (they/them) is the Lead Legal Services Advocate at The LGBTQ Center Long Beach, where they provide LGBTQ-specific legal advocacy. Jaye is an expert legal advocate in LGBTQ survivors of violence issues, which includes an emphasis on transgender victims and survivors of sexual violence. Jaye is Co-Chair of the LGBTQIA+ Issue Committee of the Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council. Jaye is dedicated to the well-being of LGBTQ people and is committed to serving survivors with trauma-informed approaches. Jaye completed their domestic violence and sexual assault counselor certifications and received their B.A. in Social Work from Cal State LA.

Karmelle Ramillano headshot

Karmelle Ramillano received both her B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Counseling Psychology from CSULB. She has been a full-time mental health clinician at the Long Beach Trauma Recovery Center since 2020 and has worked with diverse survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, childhood abuse, and other traumatic events.

Cheryl Rock headshot

Dr. Cheryl Rock is an Associate Professor of Food Science at CSULB as well as the Student Engagement and Connection Champion of the CHHS. She specializes in Martial Science with emphasis in Biodynamic Eating as well as self-empowerment through self-defense using the Bagua Energy Map as a framework. Her ethos combines her academic research, outreach and prevention training as practitioner of Martial Arts (Hapkido, 1st degree Black Belt) to help others experience holistic health and wellness practices in their daily lives through transformation and self-mastery.

Dr. Sarah Schrank headshot

Dr. Sarah Schrank, PhD is Professor of History at CSULB. She is also a licensed yoga teacher with over 2000 hours of teaching experience. She has written widely about the culture of yoga and the body in the United States. Dr. Schrank is trained in vinyasa, yin, yoga nidra, meditation, and trauma-informed yoga practices.

Dr. Ebony Utley headshot

Dr. Ebony Utley is a professorpreneur. As a Professor of Communication Studies at CSULB, her interpersonal communication publications explore male resistance to rape prevention programs, the dark side of intimate relationships, the coexistence of infidelity and intimate partner abuse, and the sexual violations of black boys. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Utley uses the findings from her research to curate experiences and develop technology products for social impact. Her worlds collide as a faculty innovation fellow for Not Alone @ the Beach and the associate director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CSULB.

Behind the Screens is an annual symposium that highlights the often-overlooked implications of technology. The symposium features engaging context conversations and an interactive design sprint to innovate for those made vulnerable by technology. This year’s theme is how to help a friend experiencing gender or power-based harassment, abuse, or violence.

A design sprint is an interactive, collaborative thinking environment for attendees to apply what they’ve learned to innovate solutions to the dark side of technology problems for specific user groups.

This year attendees will learn how game design methods can promote community, agency, and self-efficacy. In teams, attendees will combine context with the collaborative nature of game design thinking to create their own technology-inspired solutions for how to help a friend experiencing gender or power-based harassment, abuse, or violence. Bring a device, but we’ll teach you everything else you need to know.

Behind the Screens is free and open to the public. Anyone and everyone willing to be respectful of the topic and our participants is welcome to attend.

While we’d love to see you all day, you can come and go as your schedule allows. If your professor is requiring BTS attendance as an assignment or offering extra credit, check with them for how long you’ll need to stay.

We will have representatives from CAPs as well as advocates present at the event. They are qualified to speak with you if any aspect of the event makes you feel uncomfortable.

We are hosting this event in person. We encourage the use of facial coverings and will have masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes on hand. When practical, the doors to the south lawn will remain open. Please actively self-monitor for symptoms, test for infection if you believe you've been exposed to the virus, and avoid coming to the event if you are ill.

Bring yourself, an open mind, and a device--smartphone, laptop, or tablet. Even if you don’t have the tech, we’ll make sure you can still fully participate.

Yes, a photographer will be present for some aspects of the event. We will have a system in place to identify anyone who wishes not to be photographed. There will be no video recording.

The gallery is located in DESN 102. Park in lot E6. Parking is $10 for the day on the weekend.

Campus map image showing where the event it and where parking will be. Event is at the Duncan Anderson Design Gallery in the Design building. Parking is in lot E9 off Palo Verde Ave


The CSULB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship logo
Not Alone @ the Beach logo Advocate Support and Services
California State University, Long Beach Women's and Gender Equity Center Student Affairs logo
College of Liberal Arts CSULB Scholarly Intersections Grant
Beach Pride Events logo
HDEV HUMAN DEVELOPMENT California State University long Beach. Hands raised colored leaves above