Felice Yeskel papers
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.
Dates of Materials
- Creation: 1950 - 2010
- Yeskel, Felice (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections, with the following exception:
Some digital content is closed until it can be processed.
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The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works in this collection created by Felice Yeskel.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).
4.772 linear feet (6 containers)
Language of Materials
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.
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Felice Yeskel Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2012 by her spouse, Felicia Mednick.
Portions of this collection are in digital form and there may not be paper copies.
Accessioned by Kathleen Banks Nutter, 2012
The contents of computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created. Some floppy disks were unable to be copied. See the log files linked in the container list for more details.
- University of Massachusetts (Amherst, Mass.) (Organization)
- Stonewall Center (University of Massachusetts at Amherst) (Organization)
- United for a Fair Economy (Organization)
- Class Action (Organization) (Organization)
- Seneca Women's Peace Encampment (Organization)
- Diversity Works (Organization)
- Yeskel, Felice (Person)
Genre / Form
- Biographical notes
- Computer media
- DVD-Video discs
- Digital files
- Government documents
- Mailing lists
- lecture notes
- Address books
- Civil rights (LGBTQ)
- Civil rights (LGBTQ)
- Classism -- United States
- Electronic records
- Greeting cards
- Homophobia -- 20th century
- Jewish women
- LGBTQ college students -- Massachusetts -- Amherst
- Lesbian activists
- Lesbian and queer women
- Lesbian community
- Lesbians -- Massachusetts -- Amherst
- Medical records
- Pacifists -- 20th century
- Peace movements
- Peace movements -- 20th century
- Sound recordings
- Welfare rights movement
- Women in community organization
- Working class women -- United States
- Youth -- Services for -- United States
- Felice Yeskel papers
- Finding Aid
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 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.
- 2020-06-09: Description added for born-digital content.
- 2020-06-23: Inventory added for accession 2012-S-0042
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063