KPU Presents: The Parkland Students

BY: JENNA CALDWELL

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On Tuesday, October 9, American University will welcome David Hogg, Jaclyn Corin and Samantha Fuentes, graduates of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Survivors of the largest school shooting in American history, Hogg, Corin and Fuentes will be hosted by the Kennedy Political Union (KPU), School of Education and Washington College of Law for a discussion on voting, gun control and activism as a part of the annual Larissa Gerstel Critical Literacy and Social Justice Symposium.

Established twelve years ago (in 2006), the Symposium aims to celebrate the life of Larissa Gerstel, an AU education alum. Highlighting scholarship and education practices related to critical literacy and pedagogy, the Symposium leverages the expertise of AU faculty and distinguished guest lecturers to create an environment for sharing best practices to facilitate discussions about new ideas, remedies to education disparities and inequities across communities.

Since the February 14, 2018 shooting, Hogg, Corin and Fuentes have become advocates for gun violence prevention. Earlier this year, the three started the March for Our Lives student-led demonstration, which drew 450,000 attendees to Washington, DC and inspired an several similar marches throughout the nation.

Since David Hogg survived the shooting at his high school, he has become a dedicated activist and gun control advocate, as well as a co-founder of the March for Our Lives. With his younger sister, Lauren, also a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, he co-wrote “#NeverAgain,” a New York Times bestseller. Hogg graduated from high school in June 2018 and is taking a gap year to work on the 2018 midterm elections.

After the events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Jaclyn Corin mobilzed 100 of her fellow classmates to lobby for gun reform at their state capitol. Since then, she has served as a leading organizer for March for Our Lives, and works in contact with student leaders from around the country, organizing local events and voter registration pushes, and promoting March For Our Lives chapters in other cities. She has promised to devote her life to fighting against gun violence, and will forever be an advocate for all types of social justice.

Samantha Fuentes was amongst those injured at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school, and while fortunate to be alive, her body and life changed forever. She has bullet shrapnel permanently embedded in her legs and behind her right eye, and currently manages symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Drawing on her difficult background, Samantha now works closely with Angel Faces, an organization that serves girls who have endured all types of trauma. Her life mission is to to make sure that no child or adult is devastated by senseless and preventable gun violence ever again.

This event will take place on October 9th, 2018 at 7:00pm in Bender Arena. Tickets are free, but must be purchased through Eventbrite. To be admitted to the event, students must have their ticket through Eventbrite and their AUID. The names on Eventbrite tickets must match the name on the AUID. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. The event is open to the AU community only.

(Please note that no bags of any kind will be admitted to the event. Outside food and drink is also not allowed).

Tickets will be released on Eventbrite on the following dates and times:

Monday, October 1st - 8:15 p.m.

Tuesday, October 2nd - 12:45 p.m.

Wednesday, October 3rd - 8:00 a.m.

Tickets can be accessed here: https://parklandatau.eventbrite.com