“June made herself available on very short notice (two days) to hold a workshop for my team. I greatly appreciated June's willingness to assist, even though the request was last minute (three days before). The workshop itself was very cathartic both for myself and for my team, which brought us closer and helped us bond. The exercises June had us do brought out our inner child and began the process of addressing long-term trauma in my team's life, which was an amazing experience. In this way, June's workshop brought to the surface the true reasons why my team works with people who have experienced trauma: compassion, empathy, caring, and hope.
The experience was also extremely beneficial for me as I was able to make myself vulnerable to my team in a way I hadn't before. Since June took the reigns, I was able to be in a place of vulnerability, which allowed my team to trust me more as a supervisor. It humanized me in a way that none of the other trainings could because we were all speaking from the heart, not the mind.”
Beck Levin They/Them/Theirs Program Manager TAY Academy --Project Navigate Mental Health America of Los Angeles
June was an absolute pleasure to work with in our Audience Engagement programming. As a Workshop Facilitator, she led trauma workshops for our production and front of house teams, which prepared them to take care of themselves as they worked on a show day after day that contained vivid descriptions of violence and dealt with traumatic content. Our staff reported not only gratitude for being given tools to navigate the journey but also for the bond that was strengthened amongst the team after taking June’s workshop.
In her role as a Content Specialist, June co-facilitated our post-show audience discussions. It was invaluable to have her perspective and expertise to help guide our patrons and staff through discussing a difficult story. June was able to find balance with the various co-facilitators she worked with each night; knowing just when she was needed most in the course of the conversation: to shift perspective, elevate a voice that needed to be heard, or bring the (sometimes divided) group together for a collective breath. June expanded the openness, vulnerability, and consideration of all those she came in contact with. She was calm and thoughtful at all times and was a wonderful partner for our organization.
Jaquelyn Johnson (she/her/hers) Audience Engagement Manager Center Theater Group
“June’s spoken word pieces about people is one of her biggest strengths. She makes sure to collect enough info about an individual/group and give life to their stories as if they are the ones telling it. She has inspired me to change my views of life and how to run youth programs. Our program is centered around a story-based model compared to before. Instead of lecturing our participants, we now look at ways to build dialogue about important topics. For example, we set up 3-4 flip chart about issues in their community they maybe familiar with. We often use these (school, neighborhood, violence, health). Students do a gallery walk and write down things that come up when they see the word. At the end, in their groups they would either do a poem or share a story about that issue and present it at community forums in front of residents and policymakers which has made a bigger impact on our campaigns.”
-Sambo Sak, Program Coordinator (Educated Men with Meaningful Message | Dignity Health)
"June, I appreciate you so much for talking about the different pieces of anger with us. Discussing words/phrases like 'calm down,’ or ‘be positive’ and affirming for me that it's okay to not be that all the time. I've always felt that I shouldn't sit in my anger, but it's okay to have that emotion and not let it have me. Thank you for affirming that for me in my healing walk." - Briana K. (Participant)
"Thank you for leading the wellness workshop. It really helped me connect with nature. Also, thanks for reminding us to give ourselves affirmations. It made me really recognize that I have a lot to offer." - Halima (Participant)
"You're always an amazing source of inspiration and centering. Your mental health/triggers workshop genuinely changed my life in terms of mental health. Thank you so much for everything you do. Keep being your wonderful self and keep shining and blooming." -Sam (Participant)
"Dear June, only you can talk about triggers with so much excitement. The journey you've been on is so clear, the depth of your love and commitment is shown in all the materials you bring forward. Thank you for your many gifts." - Kruti (Planning Coordinator)
June is a great facilitator. She knew how to engage each and every one of our participants no matter the age through storytelling and art. She was able to address the elders and helped them overcome some of their trauma. She had them talk about their feelings and their emotions and how it can manifest into pains in their body if not addressed. She was able to introduce the art of movement with elders to help them connect with their childhood. June was able to also engage our youth in having an open conversation about mental health stigma and its root causes, and had them work collaboratively on an art piece that became featured at the Bowers Art Museum. After each workshops, our participant raved about how great June was as their facilitator. Thank you June for working with us!
“June is amazing, aware and a wonderful artist. She is always willing to work with community and uses what others see as limitations as part of the art. June facilitated a community theater piece that was performed at our annual People’s State of the City 2018. She helped community members from different backgrounds, languages and experiences, collectively create a theater piece that illustrated the challenges faced when engaging with elected bodies. The piece left community speechless and validated of their past experiences. June is a true community healer and artist.”
"June helped us set and clarify our intentions as individuals and as a collective. She helped remind us of the agency and autonomy that we all have— that we CHOOSE to do the work that we do and reclaiming power through that. As a result, our group gained a deeper sense of camaraderie and vulnerability. The group was able to help cleanse that individual self-doubts that we have which was a beautiful purification process. Furthermore, individuals felt affirmed and heard through the exercises that June shared with us. We all left with at least one new tool—especially the power of reframing word choices— that we always can CHOOSE."
"After talking to June and listening attentively to my employees, we invited her to facilitate a workshop on self-care and personal boundaries. The thought of having permission to be vulnerable and raw in a safe space was empowering for my team. By the end of the workshop, we were able to strengthen our trust in each other and honor the challenges we face each day. I recommend working with June Kaeswith if you are a nonprofit organization who is learning ways to adapt to growing the needs in our communities and you’re discouraged by the thought of saying No. With June’s facilitation, I learned that it’s the no’s that help you make the correct yeses on this journey."
-Meymuna Hussein-Cattan (Executive Director & Co-Founder)
"June benefitted our organization immensely by providing our staff with a foundation of greater trust and understanding before we embarked on an intensive multi-day, work retreat. We felt that the foundation she helped us establish resulted in a significant improvement in productivity and satisfaction compared to previous retreats when we did not bring in an outside facilitator. Almost every employee who has participated in previous retreats remarked that June’s services led to us having a retreat with more honest, less charged conversations, and people taking more time to frame their comments thoughtfully and compassionately (while still holding each other accountable to the impacts their comments have on their colleagues).
After June’s services, I personally felt rejuvenated, a greater sense of comradery with colleagues, and recommitted to prioritizing work/life balance for myself and the staff I supervise."
June helped facilitate an artistic mural/montage process with our Youth in Action! (high school youth component from Cabrillo High). During the process, one of the activities she led at the end of some of our art build sessions was a mindful meditation. This was helpful for our youth as they were going through a very busy season with their school work, extracurricular activities, and organizing. As part of the art process she also guided our youth in a talking circle/healing/affirmation activity where our youth leaders were able to go through positive self reflection collectively. The youth said that it was a positive experience that helped them see themselves in a more positive light, that they have worth, that they skills, aspects of them that should be celebrated.