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Critically acclaimed poet, Maya Angelou, has decided to use her words as a key to lend a hand in effort to stop violence on the streets of Chicago.

Angelou, who uses a wheelchair, was on stage at St. Sabina Catholic Church on the South Side, and decided to use the opportunity to speak out against the rash of shootings in Chicago over the past week.

“I know that the children are being murdered,” The Chicago Sun-Times captured Angelou saying. “It’s happening in Chicago. It’s also happening in St. Louis, in New York and Savannah.  “At some point, we have to stop this madness. We have to stop it! We have to say, ‘Wait a minute. Hello! Hello! Hello! No! No! Stop it!’”

As temperatures rise, Rev. Michale Pflieger and other anti-violence advocates are preparing for increased gang violence–and hope the community will continue to be engaged and involved enough to stop it.

Angelou’s visit came the day after 15 people were shot–one fatally–in 15 hours across the city. It came just two days after a 7-year-old girl was struck and critically wounded by a stray bullet in a shooting that is believed to be gang-related.

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