Elizabeth Ambros at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina, with unidentified male
January 30, 2013

Women in Combat and the Transition to Civilian Life after the Military

Even though the ban on women serving in combat was only officially lifted last week, women have already been serving on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. This hour host Craig Cohen talks with Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Erica Borggren about what the ban means for women in the military and about her experiences serving in Iraq.

Then, we’ll be joined by Elizabeth Ambros, a 26 year old veteran Navy corpsman. She’ll tell us about what it was like to serve as a young woman overseas and about the challenges she’s faced as a veteran transitioning to civilian life. Nicholas Osborne, Assistant Dean of Students in the Office of Veteran Student Affairs at the UIUC and a veteran member of the US Coast Guard also joins us.

Are you a veteran? What do you think about the new policy to allow women to serve in combat units? Join the conversation on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/focus580 or find us on Twitter @Focus580.

Elizabeth Ambros is pictured above at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina after she returned home from Iraq in 2009.

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November 02, 2012

Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color

Living Color investigates the social history of skin color from prehistory to the present, showing how our body’s most visible trait influences our social interactions in profound and complex ways. Nina G. Jablonski begins with the biology and evolution of skin pigmentation, explaining how skin color changed as humans moved around the globe. She explores the relationship between melanin pigment and sunlight, and examines the consequences of rapid migrations, vacations, and other lifestyle choices that can create mismatches between our skin color and our environment. This book explains why skin color has come to be a biological trait with great social meaning— a product of evolution perceived by culture. It considers how we form impressions of others, how we create and use stereotypes, how negative stereotypes about dark skin developed and have played out through history—including being a basis for the transatlantic slave trade. Offering examples of how attitudes about skin color differ in the U.S., Brazil, India, and South Africa, Jablonski suggests that a knowledge of the evolution and social importance of skin color can help eliminate color-based discrimination and racism.

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