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Felice Yeskel Papers, 1953-2010
4 boxes (4 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 695

Abstract:
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.]

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:

  • This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.
  • Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.

Restrictions on 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The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works in this collection created by Felice Yeskel.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

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

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).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

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.]


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:

  • This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.
  • Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.

Restrictions on 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

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Felice Yeskel Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

Additional Formats

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

History of the Collection

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

Processing Information

Accessioned by Kathleen Banks Nutter, 2012


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English


Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Amherst (Mass.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Class Action (Organization)
  • Classism -- United States
  • Diversity Works
  • Gay college students -- Massachusetts -- Amherst
  • Gay rights -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Homophobia -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Jewish women -- Biography -- Sources
  • Lesbian activists -- United States -- Biography -- Sources
  • Lesbians -- Massachusetts -- Amherst
  • Pacifists -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Peace movements -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Seneca Women's Peace Encampment
  • Stonewall Center (University of Massachusetts at Amherst)
  • United for a Fair Economy
  • University of Massachusetts (Amherst, Mass.) -- History -- Sources
  • Women in community organization -- History -- Sources
  • Working class women -- United States -- Biography -- 20th century -- Sources
  • Yeskel, Felice
  • Youth -- Services for -- United States -- History


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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