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Friends Like Us

A Podcast featuring women of color with different views on hot topics. 

May 22, 2024

Subhah Agarwal and Sharon Lavigne visit friends and discuss Sharon Lavigne's battle for clean air and justice, taking on the big industries that have created Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” -- nicknamed for the above-average rates of cancer within the 85-mile stretch of communities with the highest concentration of fossil fuel and petrochemical operations in the Western Hemisphere.

Sharon Cayette Lavigne, Times voted Sharon one of the most influential people of 2024.

A native of St. James, Louisiana, boasts a distinguished 38-year career as a devoted Special Education teacher within the St. James Parish school system. In 2018, she embarked on a transformative journey by founding RISE St. James, a faith-based grassroots nonprofit dedicated to advocating for clean air, clean water, and combating the proliferation of petrochemical industries in St. James Parish. Despite humble beginnings, Sharon's vision drew around ten passionate individuals to her inaugural gathering, hosted at her residence. Transitioning to retirement in 2018, Sharon's unwavering commitment to environmental justice remains evident, guided by her principle: "To love a community is to find ways to heal the community." Her tireless dedication garnered global recognition in June 2020 when she received the esteemed Goldman Environmental Prize for her resolute activism. Adding to her accolades, Sharon received the Mary Magdalene Award for Courageous Women of Faith from the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in February 2022, followed by the prestigious Notre Dame's 2022 Laetare Medal—a testament to her invaluable contributions as an American Catholic layperson. In August 2022, the Urban League of Louisiana's Annual Gala honored Sharon Lavigne's indomitable spirit, solidifying her legacy. Amidst her remarkable achievements, Sharon remains a devoted mother of six and a cherished grandmother to twelve—a testament to the unwavering support she receives from her loving family. Sharon Lavigne's story epitomizes tenacity, passion, and unwavering commitment to the environment and community, inspiring positive change.

Subhah Agarwal has brought an honesty to her comedy that will leave you saying "I didn't need to know that." Subhah has written for Netflix’s “Arsenio Hall” limited series, the "Plan B" movie on Hulu," and The Jim Jefferies Show"on Comedy Central, amongst others. You can also catch her jokes live at stand up comedy clubs across the country. If you don't want to leave your couch, you can see her late night debut on NBC's "A Little Late With Lilly Singh." She's also appeared on season three of HBO's "Westworld", "General Hospital," TruTv's sketch comedy "Friends of the People", and as herself on MTV2, Comedy Central, and Gotham Comedy Live.

Always hosted by Marina Franklin - One Hour Comedy Special: Single Black Female ( Amazon Prime, CW Network), TBS's The Last O.G, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Hysterical on FX, The Movie Trainwreck, Louie Season V, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, HBO's Crashing, and The Breaks with Michelle Wolf.