Parkland survivor speaks at USM forum

Parkland survivor speaks at USM forum

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi hosted its first forum of the school year Tuesday night and had a very special guest of honor.

Samantha Fuentes is a survivor of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida in 2018.

"I have bullets inside of me. That is something that I am now. I am walking metal. I have scars. I am a physical representation of what gun violence looks like,” Fuentes said during the forum.

She spoke and answered questions at one of many forums held by Southern Miss.

"We wanted to draw attention to not only to her as an important young activist, but also to help people see all the different ways in which women contribute to our national conversations,” said Dean of Honors College Ellen Weinauer.

Students at the event say the forums can be a great learning experience.

“They always bring in really great speakers from across the United States,” said student Jonathan Puckett. “They are always really good and they have experienced things that are not a normal experience. It’s a widening of my eyes so to speak.”

The university has been hosting the forums since 1974.

The next forum will feature Tena Clark, a Mississippi native who is a Grammy-winning producer.

She will speak on October 29.

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