Since the inception of Not Alone @ the Beach in 2015, we have employed cutting-edge bystander education programs as central components of our primary prevention effort at CSULB. Our prevention work was greatly aided by the serendipitous presence in Long Beach of Drs. Jackson Katz and Marc Rich, two national leaders in gender/power-based violence prevention education, with special focus on engaging and mobilizing men and boys on these issues. Katz is the creator of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, one of the longest-running and most widely influential gender violence prevention education initiatives in the world (see www.mvpstrat.com & www.jacksonkatz.com). Dr. Marc Rich is Professor of Communication Studies and the creator and director of interACT, a nationally-recognized social justice performance troupe based out of CSULB (https://cla.csulb.edu/departments/communicationstudies/interact/).
Together, MVP and interACT offer a comprehensive model of prevention that a) provides intensive leadership training for student leaders in key campus constituencies and b) disseminates key elements of the theory and practice of bystander education to all members of a student peer group, student organization, or members of the broader campus community. The rationale is that social change within peer cultures—and, by extension, the larger campus community—depends on a collective understanding of the problem, shared language with which to address each other, and opportunities to practice these behaviors with one’s peers where gender/power-based violence is more likely to be witnessed, but barriers to action are greater. MVP and interACT diverge explicitly from other sexual assault prevention programs that attempt to do “big room” performances that are non-interactive, not leadership-focused, and often conducted in more anonymous, formal settings in which peer engagement and group norms are not addressed explicitly.
Although we offer (and highly recommend) these programs together, each can be offered on its own at different times in the year. Some MVP learning modules can be tailored to your specific student/staff/faculty community. Click on the tabs below for additional information about each of the programs, or to inquire about a possible training.