EILEEN Yacknin

Profile Updated: May 12, 2024
Spouse/Partner Kipp Dawson
Occupation attorney
Children Leah, born 1991
Hannah, born 1994
Yes! Attending Reunion

After graduation, I attended Boston College Law School to become a radical lawyer, intending to use my skills in the struggle to achieve a socialist society in this country. Although my plans didn't quite work out, I moved to Pittsburgh after law school to became a legal aid attorney, which has remained my first and only job. Although I never expected to live in Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania more than a few years, I eventually met my partner, now wife, who had also moved to Pittsburgh in 1977, when Kipp moved from NYC to become an underground coal miner as a member of the Socialist Workers Party. After 13 years, Kipp was laid off and became a middle-school teacher until she retired. Together we had and raised 2 daughters, the older choosing Grinnell (where my twin sister had gone) over Oberlin because it was a cold and rainy campus visit day in Ohio. Although I was the bi-mom, we became one of the first legally-recognized same-sex two parent families in PA. Kipp and I finally married in 2016 to the elation of our then-adult daughters.

Likelihood of attending the 50th Reunion

I hope so

Did you spend a semester (or more) away from Oberlin before graduating?


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EILEEN Yacknin posted a message.
May 13, 2024 at 1:20 PM

One awesome adventure just popped into my mind. It was Spring, 1971, freshman year, when the various anti-war groups organized the national May Day demonstration in DC , where we, like everyone else, were determined to shut down the entire US government. My buddy, Ellie Shapiro, and I didn't have enough money to join the buses which went from Oberlin, so we, along with several others, rented an enclosed U-Haul truck, cushioned it with straw, and spent the entire trip to DC in this enclosed dark and stuffy space. When we arrived in DC the next morning, the protests had already begun, and we joined the throngs as the police just tear-gassed us out of the neighborhoods, so we never got arrested.
The most amazing part of this story for me was that i had to get back to school for a test, but couldn't figure out how I could do that, and I had no money to fly. But someone suggested I ask my professor, Jere Bruner, who was also the Harkness Coop faculty resident, if he could lend me the $$ to fly back, and amazingly, he instead just gave me the money and thanked me for going! And thanks to him, I got back in time to pass the exam!