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Felice Yeskel papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00695

Scope and Contents

The personal and professional papers of an activist who fought for peace, gay rights and an end to classism. Papers include correspondence, research, lecture notes, published work, program files, organizational records, newspaper and magazine articles, email, photographs, films, and computer files. Especially well-documented is Yeskel's work to end homophobia and classism.

[NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]

Dates

  • 1953-2010

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections (specialcollections@smith.edu) at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works in this collection created by Felice Yeskel. Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the resaercher to satify all holders of copyright

Biographical / Historical

Felice Yeskel was born and raised in Manhattan, the daughter of Harry and Phyllis Yeskel. She graduated from Seward Park High School in 1970, already a committed feminist and anti-war activist; her activism continued at the University of Rochester where she earned a B.A. in 1974. She moved to California for a time, working there against the anti-gay Briggs initiative. She then moved to the Philadelphia area and earned a Master's degree in Psychology in 1979. After 1982, Yeskel was a leader of the Seneca Women's Peace Encampment at the same time she began working on her Ed.D. in Organizational Development at UMass Amherst, completing her degree in 1991. Armed with the research she did for her dissertation, she convinced the UMass administration that the University did not adequately address the needs of its GLBTQ students. The University then responded by opening what would soon be known as the Stonewall Center with Yeskel as its director, a position she would hold for the next 14 years.

During the 1990s, she was also part of the Diversity Works Project which ran workshops in area high schools aimed at fighting homophobia, sexism, racism, and classism. In 1995, Yeskel and Chuck Collins formed United for a Fair Economy and together the two co-authored "Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity." In 2004, she joined fellow activist Jenny Ladd in founding Class Action which, according to their Web site, is "a non-profit organization in order to more effectively raise consciousness about the taboo topic of class and to address classism, both locally and nationally" ( http://www.classism.org/). That same year, Yeskel married her partner of many years, Felicia Mednick, with their then-five year old daughter, Shira, in attendance. After a two year battle, she died of cholangiocarcinoma at the age of 57. According to her obituary, Yeskel "honored her working- class roots throughout her life. She touched thousands of lives, enlightening, inspiring and supporting" (Daily Northampton Gazette, 1/15/11).

Extent

4 boxes (4 linear feet)

Overview

Activist; Educator. The papers of an activist who fought for peace, gay rights and an end to classism. include correspondence, research, lecture notes, published work, program files, organizational records, newspaper and magazine articles, email, photographs, films, and computer files. Especially well-documented is Yeskel's work to end homophobia and classism. [NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Felice Yeskel Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2012 by her spouse, Felicia Mednick.

Additional Formats

Portions of this collection are in digital form and there may not be paper copies.

Related Materials

Associated material can be found in the Movement for a New Society Records at the Swarthmore Peace Collection; Class Action Records at UMass-Amherst Special Collections; Stonewall Center Records at UMass-Amherst Special Collections. Interviews with Felice Yeskel are in the Joan Biren Papers.

Processing Information

Accessioned by Kathleen Banks Nutter, 2012
Title
Felice Yeskel papers
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Date
2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:22-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063