Tervis Time with Elizabeth Laime

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Buckle up and get ready to bang it out, respectfully. June’s hair is fragile, but the desire for blonde is much, much stronger. Jess introduces her family to Little Women and the great, deep weeping that goes with it. All this before Elizabeth Laime joins, a Deep Diver and dear friend, as well as a fellow founding podcaster. Elizabeth walks the ladies down a rabbit hole of her sexual fantasies before sharing how to bring the cozy, midwest aesthetic to your own GC.



Ritu Sharma, Jessica St. Clair, June Diane Raphael

Jessica St. Clair  01:31

Hi, I’m Jessica St. Clair.


June Diane Raphael  01:33

And I’m June Diane Raphael.


Jessica St. Clair  01:35

And this is The Deep Dive. We’re about to do what women have done for centuries, we’re crowding around the fire with our generous hunches. We got babies hanging off our tits, and we’re going to share with you our fears.


June Diane Raphael  01:48

That’s right.


Jessica St. Clair  01:49

Our joy, our tips on how to stay alive.


June Diane Raphael  01:53

Now Jess, we’re heating a call that no one has made.


Jessica St. Clair  01:58

Not a soul but you’re invited to listen.


June Diane Raphael  02:00

Absolutely, because we make one promise and one promise only, we will not Google a thing because frankly, we’re too damn tired. Please get ready to go on The Deep Dive.


June Diane Raphael  02:18

Hi, Jessica.


Jessica St. Clair  02:19

Hello, June. How are you?


June Diane Raphael  02:24

How are you?


Jessica St. Clair  02:25

I’m okay, I wanted to report that, since you took me running for The Deep Dive Academy. I have not been able to walk or work out again. Well, you texted me so yes.


Jessica St. Clair  02:43

Deep Divers we have, we did go on a field trip for the Academy. There was a student field trip that Jessica and I took our students on and we via video of course but I took just a three mile run now. You texted me just not days later saying you had gone on another run. And then that was it. And that was it for me. There were are certain like muscles in my legs, you know, that I never knew I had. And I think the shocking thing about going running is that if you feel like you were remotely fit before, it really shines a mirror of, there’s nowhere to hide out there.


Jessica St. Clair  03:24

It is after the fact even if you get through it. And it was hard. It was a mental challenge for me. Okay, that was only three miles was a mental challenge. I went through a lot.


June Diane Raphael  03:35

It’s more a mental challenge, then the physical I really maintain that.


Jessica St. Clair  03:40

And youmade me run in silence which was a shock so I.


June Diane Raphael  03:47

Had I told him I didn’t I couldn’t you had no battery and I didn’t know where your headphones were. I thought we were running together so that so I had to talk and I like running with people to be quite honest. I had I don’t like it. I like being alone.


Jessica St. Clair  04:04

And you know what’s making me laugh so hard about it is that I’m taking you on a field trip to my workout my preferred workout, which is barre class and I knew won’t give me an address by the way.


June Diane Raphael  04:17

I keep on trying to nail down like where is it and you know it to me the part that.


Jessica St. Clair  04:21

You’re gonna know.


June Diane Raphael  04:22

Like a lot of my but where do I go once I get there?


Jessica St. Clair  04:25

You’re gonna know this is my turf now this is my turf. And you’re going to do it my way. Okay, you’re going to do it you’re gonna have it Mike’s okay.


Jessica St. Clair  04:33

I’m so scared because I don’t like I mean, save it for the Academy. Now this is the extra content you’re getting or not getting but I don’t like burning out a muscle group.


Jessica St. Clair  04:49

Well, that’s bad news for you. But here’s where here’s where you like to run out in the elements and you got your little camel water thing and I had to sip that like I was breastfeeding from you and.


June Diane Raphael  05:03

You didn’t bring you showed up without water. You showed up without.


Jessica St. Clair  05:06

Glasses, sunscreen, charged phone and headphones. Because what I like to do is go to a studio now you’re gonna find is that it’s carpeted. If I can work out.


June Diane Raphael  05:19

On carpet? That’s disgusting, that’s like having a carpet in your kitchen […]


Jessica St. Clair  05:24

Wear socks, and carpet. Okay, I’m gonna give you a little socks and they have treads on them, okay? So you have to understand I don’t like to be in the elements. I don’t and then Bibi has said the same thing, she’s not a fan of the elements. She does not want to go camping. She does not want to be have the sun on.


Jessica St. Clair  05:44

I thought that was one of your favorite parts of the run that I took you to an area of LA that you had never explored.


Jessica St. Clair  05:49

That was beautiful, but I want to stand and look at it. I don’t want to run it. I don’t want to like to me, I’m like that. I don’t know. I feel like we’ve evolved past that. But anyway, so yeah, I’ve got to get myself back in, so if anything that run knocked me out, knocked me out physically.


Jessica St. Clair  06:07

You know, God, I am not going to apologize. I feel like being called to.


Jessica St. Clair  06:13

Oh, don’t I’m just saying like, it’s broken me and it’s broken my body and I may need to get a knee replacement just from doing it. So anyway, so that’s what’s happening over here. What’s, what’s happening over there?


Jessica St. Clair  06:29

Everything is good over here. You know, I definitely feel a little bit and I’m excited about this feeling just like I feel like work is picking up. You know, I’m starting to feel like a little bit of forward motion.


Jessica St. Clair  06:45

That’s nice.


June Diane Raphael  06:46

That’s feeling good. You know, I’m feeling like, yeah, I’m a member of this society.


Jessica St. Clair  06:51



June Diane Raphael  06:52

No, I’m a contributing member.


Jessica St. Clair  06:55

You know, a lot of us. A lot of people don’t realize if you were not so COVID sidelined us all. But then the strike hit, hit the double strike.


Jessica St. Clair  07:05

It did strike summer. So yeah, it was really, really hard. And it was definitely like, triggered a lot of like, COVID stasis, you know, and just depressed, depressing feelings. And so I’m, I’m feeling really good. I’m feeling like I’m fully now that it’s February and March.


Jessica St. Clair  07:26

We’re in spring.


June Diane Raphael  07:27

It’s basically summer. I, I kind of refer to the Jake Cornell calendar, you know.


Jessica St. Clair  07:34

I have to because what are we in? Are we one already?


Jessica St. Clair  07:38

No, hold on? Let me see if I can’t find, I’d love to know the date. Just oh, here’s my phone. Okay, let me look up our text thread.


Jessica St. Clair  07:47

Yeah, about what it is?


June Diane Raphael  07:48

Find, yeah, just like where are we?


Jessica St. Clair  07:50

Because I have to tell you, I think that’s what we’re both feeling is that the birds are back. Spring is sprung. And we’re emerging. You know, a lot of the seeds too, that I had planted many, many moons ago are sort of starting to like, blossom or they’re about to, you know, work I’ve done so many years ago was sort of, you know, books, the small talk book, you know, like, horn Bowers here every morning, I sent you a picture of him cookie laying on his neck, his generous neck. So it’s nice, it’s nice. It’s a good feeling.


June Diane Raphael  08:28

Yeah, it’s a great feeling, and so I just texting him. Jake, what season is it right now? According to your calendar?


Jessica St. Clair  08:38

Well, and also it’s almost Easter, which is my favorite holiday. A lot of people don’t know.


June Diane Raphael  08:43

I never.


Jessica St. Clair  08:45

It’s not your favorite holiday. Christmas is my favorite. Easter is a close second.


June Diane Raphael  08:51



Jessica St. Clair  08:53



June Diane Raphael  08:53

So what do you do on Easter?


Jessica St. Clair  08:55

Well, it depends. I mean, if I was back, I mean, basically, it’s for childhood times it was we always hosted the South Philly family will come down. My grandmother would be in a pastel one of her pastel suits, polyester suits, you know, all pastels, always she was in pastels. And she would sit next to me we would have fruit salad to start, you know, and then a beautiful Martha Stewart sort of kind of spread. And for me, it was because the East Coast darkness and winter was lifting. So for me, I felt I could breathe again. The drama, the drama I put my family through about the seasons was so annoying to them. That we all rejoiced, he is risen. I am risen.


Jessica St. Clair  09:46

Okay. No, that’s how my mom would answer the phone on Easter Sunday. You know that we’ve talked about this before. He is risen. It’s He is risen that this this story is risen. She kissed, I mean, that was our greeting to each other as he has risen. And I still don’t quite understand maybe some maybe we need to get Cameron Esposito back on the pod to explain to us. Like, why it’s he is risen. It’s supposed to he has risen.


Jessica St. Clair  10:21



June Diane Raphael  10:22

I don’t know, I know there’s a reason I’m not sure what it is […] But yeah, thanks Jake spoken so okay, we’re about I haven’t looked at it yet, but he’s just come in.


Jessica St. Clair  10:32

Okay, wonderful.


June Diane Raphael  10:34

Hot off, this is uh, this is upsetting.


Jessica St. Clair  10:37

Me in winter two or something.


Jessica St. Clair  10:39

New York has different rules that according to my original draft, winter one, but I am heavily considering revising as it’s feeling very winter 1.5 this week?


Jessica St. Clair  10:54

Well, can you also ask him, could you ask him something, though, is if we are on the west coast in a different season. Could we have geographic, can we have a geographic amendment? Because I do think we are entering into spring and.


Jessica St. Clair  11:11

I thought we were but you know, and Jessica and I have obviously been dealing with the rain that.


Jessica St. Clair  11:17

I know.


June Diane Raphael  11:19

The big old rains so but just I am feeling like you that something is lifted. That she is risen, that I is risen.


Jessica St. Clair  11:33

I took oh, by the way, whitewashed the bedroom walls of the GC.


Jessica St. Clair  11:42

Okay, Jake’s come back. Okay, cut you’re not gonna want to hear that, fuck. And this is actually this is actually I’m remembering this. He said, spring is solely the month of May.


Jessica St. Clair  11:56

Oh, that’s in New York.


June Diane Raphael  11:58

I disagree.


Jessica St. Clair  12:00

We might have to have.


June Diane Raphael  12:01

March, April, March are too volatile to be trusted.


Jessica St. Clair  12:08

He’s right. He’s not wrong.


June Diane Raphael  12:10

Absolutely, right. And that’s why we’re on we’re still on shaky ground like, I’m feeling that I is risen, but also.


Jessica St. Clair  12:18

It can be taken away from us at any minute achy.


June Diane Raphael  12:20

Yes, I could be back on that cross. You know, because I don’t really know.


Jessica St. Clair  12:26

You’re right, I can trust anything in this new climate too, I know.


June Diane Raphael  12:31

But I he said the only seasons are 100% the same on the east and west coast.


Jessica St. Clair  12:38

You had to here too. I thought it was gonna get a dispensation like a papal dispensation.


June Diane Raphael  12:45

He said the only seasons that are 100% the same Easton Webster summer wanted summer to basically according to Jake Cornell, like summer do is just ended.


Jessica St. Clair  12:57

Okay, but do remember that Jake has given us he has given us two like extra months of summer. So like, I’ll take his calendar.


June Diane Raphael  13:06

If summer 2, we don’t want when he gives it to us. And that’s always hard.


Jessica St. Clair  13:11



June Diane Raphael  13:11

He said I would hear arguments for fall winter, winter 1.5 slash spring dates for the west coast because I’ve never lived. I don’t have the credentials to speak with impunity. So that’s really wonderful to know, he’s flexible. I do think Jess, we could we could make a case for spring, starting in March here.


Jessica St. Clair  13:32

March 1st, March first, March 1st, so we’re in it. We’re in it now I’m starting to look at something I do is start to look at cover ups. So when cover ups are around now I started about two weeks ago looking at different cover ups and different matching you know sets and of course dreaming of us going to Miami again. I mean, it’s like all I want.


June Diane Raphael  13:58

Oh, we’re going I’m the Grand Marshal this year. Well, why isn’t how am I getting the dates? I think unfortunately there was a text that went out and you weren’t on that thread because Miami thread […] Okay, don’t yell at me.


Jessica St. Clair  14:15

Well, Miami, I arguably was the MVP of Miami.


June Diane Raphael  14:20

And you did great, you did great.


Jessica St. Clair  14:21

I did great. But […].


June Diane Raphael  14:26

Again is this a recap of Miami which was last year but I was just thinking about how you had a little and in my mind it was a leather satchel of mushrooms and you were I don’t know is this okay to talk about?


Jessica St. Clair  14:43

Of course.


Jessica St. Clair  14:43

You were in charge of dosing people when you felt like they needed […], and I for somebody who is such a control freak I loved giving my body over to the conservative ship of view and you were very saucy about it like, you’d be someone’s coming down, here’s another little something. Here’s a little mushroom. And I did I ever send anyone over the edge.


Jessica St. Clair  15:10

No, but what you did do which was so wonderful is you tie traded our evening so that if you saw a soldier falling, you would bring them back up. So we were all on the same level all the time.


June Diane Raphael  15:25

And when people don’t normally consume mushrooms as a party drug, it’s more of like go out into the desert and look at the stars. So I know that’s different. That’s a little different. But I do maintain that with the right amount of cocktails. It can elevate the proceedings.


Jessica St. Clair  15:41

It did and if you’re finding yourself at a sushi restaurant at 10:45 at night, and you’re eating buckets and buckets of raw fish, like you that’s elevated.


June Diane Raphael  15:55

And what were we doing in there?


Jessica St. Clair  15:57

We were all dancing. Yeah it was great anyway so yes.


June Diane Raphael  16:01

So yes, we’ll have more good times we’ll be have are definitely going to Miami. I because the Grand Marshal God what I don’t am.


Jessica St. Clair  16:10

Like what are we in your court? I mean, this is going to be well why? It’s because of how you walked in there with your with your power drain.


June Diane Raphael  16:17

That’s the thing I already.


Jessica St. Clair  16:19

You’ve already been acting like.


June Diane Raphael  16:22

I’ve already sort of like lived into this role like I have been without the title I’ve already behaved as a Grand Marshal.


Jessica St. Clair  16:31

What if Jake joined us Holy shit? Holy shit talk about up a notch.


June Diane Raphael  16:39

He joined us, whoa, that’s interesting. Well, I’m so glad he’s open to you know revisiting the good word in the text and the kinky scroll the King James Bible, you know, we have I don’t know is it a Roman calendar? What are we following here? Yeah, I don’t Christian calendar I don’t know.


Jessica St. Clair  17:00

I’m done with it, but it’s like we have yes.


June Diane Raphael  17:03

We also have the Jake Cornell seasonal calendar.


June Diane Raphael  17:13

Jess, I did want to tell you if you think Sony right now, and this is something I’m really going to work on. Right now I am staring at a desk that has no fewer than let me count them 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 journals.


Jessica St. Clair  19:33

Okay, me too, but there’s no rhyme or reason. And I just keep starting a new one and throw it into I don’t know, there’s so many I don’t know where my thoughts are. But I’m going to tell you something about journals, okay? This is probably not news to people. But as we all know, in the underworld, a lot of intense feelings, okay. And again, I am in a much better place spring, his Spring has sprung. But what my coach my ADHD coach has explained to me is that I always thought journaling was like, oh, it’s fun, you know, oh, that’s nice for you to record your thoughts. But what it actually does is it moves your so you’re in your your back of your brain, your limbic system, which is your fight or flight brain. And what you want to do is move those emotions from the back of your brain to your prefrontal cortex. And the only way the brain can do that is by externalizing, those thoughts by writing. So she had me the other day I was in this state, and she goes on the phone, she’s like, I want you to take out one of your hundreds of journals. I was, I was essentially sitting in a nest of journals that.


June Diane Raphael  22:23

That’s what I wish I can’t […] […] Why are we state?


Jessica St. Clair  22:29

We’re like those Time Life twins that are separated and if one’s one’s hand gets cut off, the other one feels it.


June Diane Raphael  22:35

But see, here’s the thing. Like I might even journaling though in these journals. I’m making lists. I’m having my To Do lists, you know, I have my main source. But my main source is this guy, which I’m trying to address which has tabs on it.


Jessica St. Clair  22:50

Yeah, love tab family and travel Christmas has its own D have I found that we have our own balance bound planner, okay.


June Diane Raphael  23:00

That’s what I’m saying. So we have but then all of a sudden, was some days I’m like.


Jessica St. Clair  23:06

You’re cracking open a legal pad. Wow, who are you the Pelican Brief was truly around for.


June Diane Raphael  23:11

Something satisfying about that. So I’m not journaling thoughts. Just I’m just trying to get my shit done.


Jessica St. Clair  23:17

I understand, but I will also say for any of you who are freaking out, I was having a panic. And she said, we’re going to take five minutes and write out all of your feelings. And I didn’t want to write them out. Because I thought if I write them, they become stronger. The emotions would not make sense to you, you write them out. You’re feeling them.


June Diane Raphael  23:36

Sometimes you don’t want to speak the and speak up.


Jessica St. Clair  23:38

That’s right, so she made me do it.


June Diane Raphael  23:41

I mean, this list was so fucking depressing.


Jessica St. Clair  23:44

I was like, I you know, when you just write like, I am alone. Life is a big from me. Like it was like a TS Eliot, like the wasteland type of like lyric poem. And then afterwards, she’s like, how do you feel? And I said, calmer, better. And I was shocked.


June Diane Raphael  24:02

I love that.


Jessica St. Clair  24:04

So anyway, for all of any of you having intense emotions, or when you do like, even when you’re angry, great to just go and start writing because it just the brain actually does a sigh of relief because it can actually see and start to make order of your feelings as opposed to being like driven by them.


June Diane Raphael  24:21

Yeah, that’s great. Yeah, I mean, I’m looking just for more organization, you know? It’s there’s nothing I love more than checking off something on the list. There’s nothing I love more, but right now, lists are everywhere. Now one thing I have been doing Jess, which I just want to tell you because of my brain fog and perimenopause is honestly almost after every conversation. I’m keeping a record. Just a couple quick notes. Yeah, eat too. I’m not things aren’t carrying from one conversation to the next.


Jessica St. Clair  25:04

I totally hear you. I know know what’s happening to us, it’s like.


June Diane Raphael  25:10

You know, when I write it down, I gotta write it down. You know.


Jessica St. Clair  25:14

And it’s not funny at all, at all, but my friend Brandy is she’s also the underworld, but she said, she always brings us up that her grandmother who unfortunately had dementia, they found a bunch of posts all over her apartment that said, I am Mommy, mommy is me.


June Diane Raphael  25:31

I don’t.


Jessica St. Clair  25:33

It’s not funny at all, but when Brandi says I am mommy, like anytime I’m like, I can’t believe I forgot that. She’ll be like, I am mommy, mommy’s me. No, no. I remember I remember talking to my psychiatrist, like, oh, yeah, I can’t figure out how to remember anything. I’m a chaos and she was just like, it’s too much. She’s like, what women are asked to do is too much like I certainly could do what I want but like how are you supposed to keep in your brain? That like Bibi needs to work on our vocab words like if we got an egg drop on Friday that we need one I haven’t seen that egg prepared correctly for the science night.


June Diane Raphael  26:14

Guess who’s keeping track of that every day.


Jessica St. Clair  26:17

Honey? […] mommy is me.


June Diane Raphael  26:23

Mommy and I is risen.


Jessica St. Clair  26:29

Yeah, but like, I don’t know, you know how many how many partners were really like vocab words like I just kind of want to like spring it on my help meet and see like this was you know about that list, you know?


June Diane Raphael  26:42

You don’t know shit, no boo about that list, not.


Jessica St. Clair  26:47

Okay, I’m trying to figure out you know, fractions and a common denominator. You know, these are not my skills.


June Diane Raphael  26:54

No, but they will when we dive in. Speaking of skill sets, you know, we had a big shift at the Academy, which is that I am I do want to share this because I’m deeply proud of it. I know you’re proud of me to which makes me feel so good. I’m so proud of you.


Jessica St. Clair  27:11

My dad is also proud of me if that matters. It matters so much. Yes kidding me.


June Diane Raphael  27:17

Yes, it matters.


Jessica St. Clair  27:18

I mean, he’s most proud of Paul but mine is obvious but.


June Diane Raphael  27:24

I you know, I’ve been learning new skills this year piano I can play Amazing Grace now and that’s amazing perfectly but some of it and I took on learning editing program called Cap Cut.


Jessica St. Clair  27:43

Learn get it and please, again, this isn’t all about the academy but please join because I gotta tell you she’s got away with her cuts. She’s a regular Scorsese a Coppola, if you will, and I was so impressed. Now a lot of organizations, when they are growing, they hire more people on and if anything new downsize, everything you’re gonna see is coming from June and I was shooting it ourselves. So we’re editing it ourselves. Okay. We are the academy the academy. You expect we our Mommy Mommy is me in it. And that’s what we’re up to. You know, we just said we’ve had too much on the to dues but now we’re learning to be editors. Because I’m gonna learn too.


June Diane Raphael  28:32

You are going to learn my friends and I’m excited for you.


Jessica St. Clair  28:35

And it’s Empower, just feel empowered, gets empowered. We don’t need anybody to do this. And you know, I think there is a little bit of this in for me, where early on in my relationship with Dan was like, I don’t get chords. I don’t get chords, you do the chords.


June Diane Raphael  28:56

What kind of chords we’re talking to?


Jessica St. Clair  28:57

Any kind of chords anything that involves chords.


June Diane Raphael  29:00

A Dingle and a dongle in it, yeah. And that gotten way better with chord stress.


Jessica St. Clair  29:06

I really have.


June Diane Raphael  29:07

Okay, half my friends. I live proud of you.


Jessica St. Clair  29:10

I really appreciate that because you know, I’m working hard on chords.


June Diane Raphael  29:14

No, you are. No, this is not a fucking joke. I know you are.


Jessica St. Clair  29:19

I’m really good at chords. And also I’m on time except for the runlevels I really didn’t want to do that. And that was hard for me to show up there on time. But otherwise I yes. So I’m good on chords. But I do think there’s some learned helplessness around technology. Sometimes for women. We’re like we don’t do that, and it’s like, fuck that math isn’t hard. I mean, Bibi’s math is hard and I had to google how you find a common denominator. But we can do chords.


June Diane Raphael  29:49

We can do chords, we can do tech, we can we are women in STEM turns out. I’m a woman in STEM.


Jessica St. Clair  29:56

Rosie the Riveter. You know, she probably had to figure out a quarter too.


June Diane Raphael  30:00

I don’t decay. And I, I do think that yeah, there’s this like invis there’s been for those of us of a certain age as well, this like invisible kind of barrier, right of life. What’s an HDMI cord? Where do I get it? Where it just RadioShack still exist? You know, just questions. Okay, and now, there’s so many. There’s so many wonderful tutorials, and I hate to say it, but like, the info is the classroom is at our fingertips.


Jessica St. Clair  30:34

That’s right.


June Diane Raphael  30:35



Jessica St. Clair  30:37

Guess what else? Guess what else learning gets you. More money in the pocket.


June Diane Raphael  30:43

That’s right.


Jessica St. Clair  30:45

Because every time you outsource, right, you have to pay somebody for it. And now listen, I don’t pay Paul, and I make Paul do all this stuff for me. I’m still gonna do that, because Paul does take care of me and I don’t want him to stop. And I’m glad he doesn’t listen to this.


June Diane Raphael  31:02

Like there was a lot of, you know, we have a shoot tomorrow. And I’m not sure like what’s gone on, like, what cameras we’re bringing, like, yeah, when, we drilled, talk about, like, we keep referencing, dude, it’s like, what are we? What are we? How are we bringing it and doing it? So there’s definitely still some questions, and Paul has definitely helped me like, figure out that running camera upload gave me turns out he had a million cameras that I didn’t even know about. Oh, he’s so I feel like I could say to him tonight, like, hey, Jessica and I are going to be shooting me and her in this, you know, ballet class, and what do I what do we bring? I think he’ll be able to help or see what at the end of the day we got to know our own shit.


Jessica St. Clair  31:50

I know.


June Diane Raphael  31:50

But when mommy is me and I am mommy or I am […], whatever the fuck it is because that’s just true.


Jessica St. Clair  31:58

Yeah, because otherwise you end up being like a mafia wife, and like when the feds come you find out, you know that there’s cameras, you know.


June Diane Raphael  32:07

We and we’ve learned this in every turn of our career, ain’t no one coming to save us. No one knows more than we do. No one’s going to be driving the train like us, they don’t care as much. And at the end of the day, it’s ourselves.


Jessica St. Clair  32:27

And get ready for this interview we’re about to have because this is talking about the power of women.


June Diane Raphael  32:34

Yes, yes, please Deep Divers stay around for it. Jessica and I are so like thrilled to have had her on and we can’t wait to talk to you all about who she is and what she’s up to, but you have to stay for after the break.


June Diane Raphael  36:53

Jessica, we have a special guest coming on.


Jessica St. Clair  36:56

We have a guest of significance.


June Diane Raphael  36:59

That’s right, I don’t know if you know Jessica but March 8 is a very special day. It’s International Women’s Day. And we love we love women. You know we say it loudly and proudly.


Jessica St. Clair  37:11

We do we love women.


June Diane Raphael  37:12

We do and maybe more than that we love organizations that that do the work to help those very women thrive. And so today we’re so excited to share with you Deep dDivers that we are sitting down with Rita Sharma. She’s the VP of us programs at Kerr a leading humanitarian organization. And we’re so proud to be partnering with CARE. This Women’s History Month now two guides the organization’s advocacy toward the US government, international institutions and across 42 national governments two leads CARE’s nascent work across the United States, providing emergency response to disasters and economic opportunities for women and prior to CARE. She was a regional director at the International Youth Foundation working on young women’s economic opportunity and a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies leading the joint CSIS IYF youth prosperity and security initiative she also wrote the book teach a woman to fish overcoming poverty around the world. And we are so excited to talk to her about CARE which for those who don’t know is a global nonprofit that works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. And their approach is always rooted in gender equality. This International Women’s Day Deep Divers CARE celebrating the leadership of women across the world was she leads the world an exhibition of photographs by Nigel Barker, that puts the spotlight on women leaders in Sierra Leone, who are overcoming obstacles and incredible challenges to succeed and thrive as leaders in their communities now and every day, Ritu,  welcome to The Deep Dive.


Ritu Sharma  38:59

Thank you. I’m excited to be here and I’m actually more happy that you stopped reading my bio and it’s so painful read to read your read your own bio.


Jessica St. Clair  39:10

We will not hear of that. We will not hear of that because your accomplishments are so impressive and I and I want you to hear them. I need you to hear that.


June Diane Raphael  39:20

I understand what you’re saying. And, you know, who knows, though reach what might happen is that strategically over the course of this conversation, I might dip in to the last paragraph of your bio when you least expect.


Ritu Sharma  39:35

You can’t do that. The last paragraph is actually the coolest paragraph so.


June Diane Raphael  39:42

Can you tell us. Okay, so just just for someone who for for listeners who have never heard about CARE and the work that you all do is there, can you tell us a little bit about it and specifically, how women and children are prioritized cares work.


Ritu Sharma  40:03

So if you thought your mom invented the CARE package, she didn’t CARE invented the CARE package back in 1945.


Jessica St. Clair  40:16



Ritu Sharma  40:17

After, after World War Two, this organization got Americans together to put in a box, essential food item. Cleaning supplies, basics of life, cigarette chocolate, the necessities and toys for kids too, and box those things up and sent them to Europe, for families who literally had nothing but dirt.


June Diane Raphael  40:51



Ritu Sharma  40:51

After the World War. And that was the invention of the CARE package.


June Diane Raphael  40:58

That’s so beautiful that.


Jessica St. Clair  41:00

I’ve never received a CARE package from my mother. So okay.


Ritu Sharma  41:04

Yeah, I will call your mom.


June Diane Raphael  41:06

She’s passed, but good luck finding good luck finding her in the other world, I can listen, I received a lot but CARE packages were not our love language. So this is, this is great information, I love to send a CARE package.


Jessica St. Clair  41:20

And I love the people, we’re sending them to total strangers. And that and that was an it was. So basically a call got put out like send, and here’s the address and then people mobilize. That’s really beautiful.


Ritu Sharma  41:33

Yeah, exactly. And we have now we’re in contact with people who were kids in 1945. And now they’re, they’re in their 80s. And they’ll tell the stories about how they remember receiving that package. And they remember their parents opening it and coming to tears, because this is, you know, there are things in it like condensed milk, like sweetened condensed milk, which is so yummy.


June Diane Raphael  42:01

I grew up on these, it’s the best.


Ritu Sharma  42:03

Like these kids hadn’t had anything sweet in a year. And, you know, they would just relish that, that treat and, and, you know, we would include a doll and it would be for a little girl like literally her only toy, but had any toys, you know, for them through the war. So, you know, it’s one of the things that really touched people and and we still do this, like, we still provide CARE packages, but they’re in a really different form. Like in the United States. We provide cash assistance in like a credit card form. And so people can go buy whatever they need after a disaster. We leave it to people to decide, because people like you know, women were super responsible. If we receive cash after a disaster, we’re not gonna go blow it. We’re gonna go, you know, get diapers, get tampons, you know, get the food basics, like work, and we.


Jessica St. Clair  43:05

Know what to do with that, yeah.


Ritu Sharma  43:07

We know what to do with it, right? And so we’re still providing CARE packages. But now we do it in lots and lots of different ways in lots and lots of different forms, including the box full of food, we still do that, too.


June Diane Raphael  43:22

Wow, and so can you talk a bit about why after disasters? It’s women who are disproportionately impacted?


Ritu Sharma  43:33

Yeah, so let me give you a really graphic example from the book I wrote called Teach a Woman To Fish from the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka, this was in 2004. With the day after Christmas, we’re all like playing with our toys, and they were dealing with a tsunami. It just illustrates kind of very poignantly all the differences between men and women. Though at the time this tsunami hit Sri Lanka, the men were at work, and the women were home. Most of the homes in the country are like right near the beach, right on the coast. But the office building or the central part of town is more a little up in the hills, right? The when the wave came, women and children were home and we’re not home. So it was women and children died at huge rate compared to men just because of their roles as being homebound caregivers, and this particular geography. But the other thing that happened is that after right after the wave came in and out, it was complete disaster. People had been kids had been swept away from their families. Women had been swept away from their homes. They were very disoriented. Men and I can’t even believe people would even think to do this. But men took advantage of the situation. And there were just rampant cases of rapes. Right in the aftermath of the disaster, because it was a moment of lawlessness. Everybody was disoriented, and then once.


June Diane Raphael  45:22

Which I are sorry to stop you just like, yeah, I’m trying to go from disorientation to rapes. You know, like, I’m like, trying to mentally understand that.


Ritu Sharma  45:34

Opportunistic, yeah, opportunistic. And, and then when people went into camps, they built temporary shelters, and they brought people in camps, and they started handing out supplies. They wouldn’t include in any of the supplies, sanitary napkins, underwear, bras, like the kinds of things that women need. And in the book, there’s a story about one camp where the men, usually the men run the camp for the displaced people. And the men were pulling out women’s underwear and laughing about it, and sort of like auctioning it off. Okay, who wants the pair ladies underwear, sort of making a mockery of of what women need. So that, you know, I could read you the statistics, I could say, you know, you know, when disasters seven out of 10 victims are women and children, or I can say all these statistics, but I think these kind of these stories of what actually happens after a disaster helps you to understand that for a whole bunch of different reasons. Women are just more severely impacted. And it’s just because women everywhere are lower class citizens. You know, we have secondary status, even in this country.


Jessica St. Clair  46:54

And also physically are more vulnerable. They’re like, when you talk about the rapes, like, that’s they are overcome physically, right. They’re defenseless in that way.


June Diane Raphael  47:04

Exactly. So well, well, that’s devastating. And what, okay, so what is CARE, one of our, you know, leading humanitarian organizations doing to address this giant gap. And who, you know, suffers the most post disaster.


Ritu Sharma  47:32

So the really the most wonderful thing that we do is that we actually just talk to women, like super radical, I know, it sounds crazy, I and I hated it.


Jessica St. Clair  47:41

Never occurred to me, never occurred to.


Ritu Sharma  47:43

You know, like, it’s really cutting edge stuff. Super, super cutting edge. So we actually talk to women, and ask them what they need, like, we call it a rapid gender assessment, which is like, sounds super wonky, but it’s basically just go talk to women and ask them, what their needs are, what are experiencing? What are they seeing, you know, what kinds of support do they need? That’s basic, right? First thing to do. And then based on that, we work with a lot of local women’s organizations, to then deliver the assistance that women say that they need, sometimes we do the direct delivery, because in a lot of places, there may not be an infrastructure, women’s organizations, or they may, they themselves are affected by the disaster, and they, you know, they need the assistance as much as anybody else. But we try as much as we can to work through the local organizations that are already there that already know the women, they already know who’s most vulnerable, and who’s not and where they will go. And we don’t know that coming in from the outside. So a lot of our work is to kind of work with through for standing by the women themselves, and rather than seeing them as like, you know, inanimate receivers of assistance. You know, we try to put women in the driver’s seat of defining the needs and meeting the needs. Because like, everywhere, and if you’re a mom, you totally get this, but like, women are the first responders before the first responders get there. Yeah, right. Like the moms are there. The Grandmothers are there the answer? They’re like, they’re the first responders. So why not work with the first responders?


Jessica St. Clair  49:33

I love that. And I was also wondering, because I was thinking about what motivates people to donate, right? And so when there’s a when there’s a news story, you know, I think that’s some and pictures and videos, people are like, moved right to, but I wonder if there’s something about CARE where it’s so specific, where your money is going to that motivates people to donate? Is that something that you guys work on are?


Ritu Sharma  50:02

Yeah, no, we work on that really hard. And you know, when there’s a disaster we can help people visualize, okay, if you give $20, it will buy this much water for one family. Or if you give $200, you can provide one family with food for a whole week, right? It doesn’t mean that you give the $200. And that $200 is literally buying, you get what I’m saying? Yeah, right. But the point is, is that people are able to really picture and understand, oh, if I like this is tangibly what my contribution can do, right? And that’s super motivating, right? And so, and we go through great pains to make sure we have transparency in our systems, and that we deliver and that we’re communicating back with the donors on what we have delivered, even in the really difficult emergency situation, you know, we do our best to kind of really track and report how many people are we helping? What are we helping them with, and, and to get that information back out to donor so people know that, that know, your assistance you gave it on Thursday and Monday, it’s doing this, that’s great.


Jessica St. Clair  51:16

You, too. I’m curious, so I know that you have been doing this work for some time. In 1998, you founded women Thrive worldwide, which gave women and families living in the poorest countries and around the world, a voice in the US Congress, before executive branch agencies.


June Diane Raphael  51:37

What personally motivated you to to get into all of this and to use your time and talent and passion and to focus it? So specifically on this type of work?


Ritu Sharma  51:52

So I obviously don’t look, I mean, you can’t see me because this is a podcast, but I don’t look American. I’m Indian, and my, both my parents are from India. And I was I’m super lucky that I was, you know, essentially born and raised here. And, you know, through out my growing up, you know, I heard lots of stories of violence against women, women in my family, I never had a grandfather, because they were they were impacted by, by the violence in India in various ways. And ever since I was a kid, it just really pissed me off. Like, what, why is this hat appealing this, like, this is stupid, you know, and I’m so grateful to my dad, he’s an amazing dad, he always encouraged me and, you know, it’s like, you are just as good as a boy, if not better, you know, and to Him. It just pissed him off. And he couldn’t understand like, why is this so hard for men not to see that women are their equals. And so, you know, I just kind of grew up with this sense of the injustice, but also an awareness of how incredibly lucky I was to be here. And if I had grown up in India, I would have faced that violence. And I would have faced that discrimination. And I would have to contend with all of those things. And so I really wanted to work on this issue, but do something that only I could do as an American. And that is my own government to do the right thing, right? There are lots of amazing, amazing women in India, who are doing incredible work for women in that country. It’s not for me to go to India, and do the work for women there. It’s not my culture never lived there. But what is mine to do is to inspire Americans to get involved to use their voice to influence our government to send contributions to help women all over the world. That’s my role in this play. And and I really stuck close close to that and have really focused on implementing our government largely honestly because that’s where the largest donor country in the world the unlike one rob a bank will go where the money is right and if you can influence what the US government does, here’s literally influencing how billions and billions of dollars are getting spent.


June Diane Raphael  54:34

I want to say that again. So they go us yeah, as the largest donor in the world. What a giant and the cheapest donor in the world. So let me see if people are wise we are the chief message why okay, we give the largest the lowest.


Ritu Sharma  54:51

Just because our economy is so big. That’s changing fast though, because like China is catching up very quickly and it’s a big competition. They are are dominating Africa and Asia and Latin America and they want to dominate and they have opened the spigot of assistance, and we haven’t, we haven’t. So I get something like we really need to contend with that. But because our economy is so big, but the other statistic, it’s really important that people know this. Our international aid is only half of 1% of the entire federal budget. It’s a lot of money, one person in dollars. But everyone says like, oh, America, first we got to focus on America first. Oh, I completely agree with you. I’m an American. Yes, we should focus on our problems. First and foremost, I think 99 and a half percent of the budget being spent on ourselves, is putting America first, right.


June Diane Raphael  55:54

Can you tell us a bit about what projects CARE is currently working on both in the United States and internationally?


Ritu Sharma  56:04

Yeah, I’d love to. So one of the projects we’re working on right now in the United States is building a network of locally based women and women of color led community organizations to be able to help them respond to a hurricane, no matter where it hits along the Gulf Coast. So we’re building this CARE Response Network, across because we know hurricanes are going to come we know they’re gonna keep coming, we know they’re gonna get stronger. And we also know, people who live in the most impacted communities like the most you saw this in Hurricane Katrina, in the most low, low lying areas, the most vulnerable places are often low income people of color, that we’re building a network, we now have 15 partners across the Gulf Coast. And we’re building up our systems so that within 10 days of a disaster, we can reach 10% of low income women with cash assistance. That’s our North Star, so we’re putting together the machinery to really be able to do that. And again, working with locally based women’s organizations and community networks. And that really mirrors what we’re doing overseas as well, we have almost the same kind of setup and partnerships in the Philippines in Asiair, in Malawi, in lots of places where we have put together, these networks of local organizations, many of them women led organizations, to help them respond to disasters really quickly. One of the things we’ve started to do, which I think is really exciting, and fingers crossed, I would love to be able to bring it to the United States, is to work with some of these community organizations on their emergency preparedness plan. And we have a really, really cool participatory approach to work with communities where they get to do the analysis, and they create their own preparedness plan. And they decide how do they want to use the resources? Who’s most vulnerable? How do we need to help them prepare? Where do we want to stock food, for example? How are we going to distribute it? It’s this wonderful process that puts the community in the driver’s seat of getting themselves prepared for a disaster. So it’s a really empowering approach. And you can imagine people who, you know, experience multiple disasters, to put them in the driver’s seat where they can really be empowered to prepare themselves. And and I think it’s just, I think what’s cool, what’s, what just really inspires me the most about it is that it’s not just getting people prepared for disaster, but it’s building their confidence in their ability to say, No, I get to choose what happens to me. And I get to choose how we’re going to do this. And it has all these knock on effects of where they then take that competence, to lots and lots of other community problems.


June Diane Raphael  59:14

I love that and I just want to tell our listeners because you, you have to go check this out. It’s live right now on the CARE website. But for International Women’s Day this year CARE is is celebrating these incredible leaders, women leaders around the world with the She Leads The World campaign, which is an exhibition of photographs by Nigel Barker that does exactly what Richard was saying puts the spotlight on women leaders in Sierra Leone specifically who are overcoming those obstacles and these challenges to succeed and thrive as leaders in their community. So that exhibit those exhibits and stories are up right now. At care.org/Sheleads so please go check it out. Before we let you go or two, I’m just, you know, I love that gender equality is such it is at the core of everything that CARE does. I know, we’re talking a lot about response to disasters, right, but I’m getting people ready to respond to disasters. But in terms of the work of like defeating poverty, how is CARE attacking that giant? Problem and goal?


Ritu Sharma  1:00:40

Yeah, that’s so we use a lot of the same approaches to tackling poverty that we do to helping people prepare for survive and be resilient after disasters, right. So a lot of it is helping communities feed themselves what is needed to end their own poverty, right. So many of the poorest poorest people in the world, our subsistence farmers, they they live in rural areas, they grow their own food, that’s where you have still major pockets of poverty, that we work in those communities helping with established groups of women who create what we call village savings and loan associations, they each contribute a little bit of money each week, they can lend it to one another. And we layer on top of that a lot of education programs, gender equality programs, men’s engagement programs. And slowly, slowly, slowly, over time, women will start business, they’ll start earning more money, we help their husbands understand how this is really good for him, and whole family. And little by little by little, you know, all communities can progress. It’s doesn’t happen super fast. But again, it puts people in the driver’s seat of their own economic future. And, you know, that’s really the only sustainable thing to do. We did through COVID, we did surveys with women who were part of our bsla A’s and women who weren’t. And what we found was that the women in our bsla is true to our our campaign, right now. She leads the world, they were the people in the community who were leading the response to COVID. Like they took it on themselves to educate people and make, you know, and so just by being part of these groups, it’s a really empowering thing. And these become the problem solvers of their communities. And, like, yeah, there’s no magic, there’s no magic bullet to just solving poverty. But like we started at the beginning, like, you need to ask and work with the people who are living in poverty, and you need to put them in the driver’s seat. And that’s the most that’s the smartest, most sustainable thing to do. And it’s not like, you know, again, it sounds super cutting edge, I know.


Jessica St. Clair  1:03:19

No, but I mean, women are the smartest investments we can make, right? We have the most to lose, and the most to gain. And we’ve talked about it on a podcast in terms of like venture capital money on the other end of things and writing checks to to women, founders, and why it’s just simply a smart business decision, because they know what to do with their money. We know how precious it is. We know how precious these resources are. And we are primed and it is generation generationally. It feels in our bones, to know how to survive and do the most with the least. So it’s it just makes very good sense. And I’m so inspired by the approach. Read you I want to plug your book one more time, and I can’t wait to read it teach a woman to fish overcoming poverty around the globe. I’m sure all of our Deep Divers can purchase it at your local bookstores if they don’t have it. You know, every indie bookseller is ready to order a book at the drop of a dime. So please check that out. And I’m just so proud to have CARE as a partner of this show and episode again, you can see the incredible, she leads the world exhibition and stories@kerr.org/sheleads and this International Women’s Day. That exhibition She Leads The World is going to be up and you can really get such a beautiful sense of the work that CARE does and get to know these incredible women leaders in Sierra Leone. Ritu, thank you so much for joining us today.


Ritu Sharma  1:04:58

Yeah, thank you This was the best part of my day. So thanks for the great conversation.


Jessica St. Clair  1:05:03

What’s the best way for you guys to have people donate?


Ritu Sharma  1:05:09

Easy peasy care.org/donate.


Jessica St. Clair  1:05:13

Wonderful and I do yeah as a little tip I really like I did this last year I automated it so that every month something comes out of my check so that it goes to something because otherwise I think people donate when there’s a disaster but then maybe they don’t again and so I don’t know if that’s something you guys of course so it’s.


Ritu Sharma  1:05:34

Hugely I mean, I can’t even tell like those are the most precious donation to the ongoing ones and it’s really easy you just click there’s a click a button at the bottom and, just make it a monthly contribution. And yeah, and you can stop it at any time that’s totally cool right so but yeah, those are very very precious gift.


Jessica St. Clair  1:05:53

Thank you, Ritu.


Ritu Sharma  1:05:54

Thank you!


CREDITS  1:06:32

There’s more of The Deep Dive with Lemonada Premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content like our listener questions where we answer questions from you like when is the appropriate time to take down your Christmas tree? Lots of thoughts on that that you have to subscribe. To find out the answer. Send your questions to the deepdiveacademy@gmail.com And subscribe now and Apple podcasts. The DEEP DIVE is produced by Lemonada media Jessica St. Clair and June Diane Raphael. Our producers Ana Cecilia, our associate producer is Dani Matias and ours supervising producer is Jamela Zarha Williams. Our engineer is Johnny Vince Evans. Additional Lemonada support from Steve Nelson, Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jessica Cordova Kramer. Special thanks to Anne Geddes for a cover art and Lennon Parham for her sweet, sweet vocals. The best way to support us is to rate and review. Follow The Deep Dive wherever you get your podcasts or listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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