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GLSEN Phoenix Statement on Death of Local GSA Sponsor and GLSEN Phoenix Founder and Honoree, Dr. Eileen Yellin

Media Contacts:
Sean Nonnenmacher

Student Organizing Coordinator, GLSEN Phoenix


Kari Hudnell
Media Relations Manager,
GLSEN National


GLSEN Phoenix Statement on Death of Local GSA Sponsor and

GLSEN Phoenix Founder and Honoree, Dr. Eileen Yellin


PHOENIX (July 25, 2016) – GLSEN Phoenix mourns the passing of Dr. Eileen Yellin, founding board member of GLSEN Phoenix and longstanding Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) sponsor at Tempe High School. Sean Nonnenmacher, GLSEN Phoenix Student Organizing Coordinator, issued the following statement:

“GLSEN Phoenix is devastated by the death of Dr. Yellin. We offer our deepest condolences to her close friends, family members, colleagues and students – past and present. Dr. Yellin has been a force within safe schools work in this city for many years, leading programs like the annual Breaking the Silence Dance in conjunction with GLSEN’s Day of Silence, and her loss will be felt throughout Phoenix.

“Words cannot adequately express the love for Dr. Yellin felt by those fortunate enough to work closely with her – our GLSEN Phoenix board members, staff and volunteers included. We will honor her legacy by continuing her work to ensure that all students are safe and affirmed at school, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”

Dr. Yellin was a recipient of GLSEN Phoenix’s Safe Schools Award in November 2015 for her ongoing commitment to ensuring that Tempe High School offers a safe and affirming climate for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.



About GLSEN Phoenix

GLSEN Phoenix is one of 40 local chapters of the nation’s leading education organization working to ensure that all students in every K-12 school are valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Following a research-based approach, GLSEN Phoenix works throughout Maricopa County supporting student-led efforts to positively impact their own schools and local communities, assisting educators in becoming allies to LGBTQ youth by developing the knowledge and skills needed to create and sustain safe, inclusive, respectful and healthful environment for all students, and partnering with decision makers to ensure that comprehensive and inclusive safe schools policies are considered, passed and implemented. 


GLSEN champions safe and affirming schools for all students. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach tens of thousands of K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of chapters brings GLSEN’s expertise to their local communities. GLSEN's progress and impact have won support for our work at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research and educator training programs, please visit