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Rafiah Maxie-Cole (she/her) is a Mother, Advocate, Licensed Clinical Social Worker for the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Founder of Soul Survivors of Chicago.

On May 27, 2020 her 19 year-old son completed suicide.  She felt compelled to continue his legacy and share his story for others impacted by suicide and trauma in the African-American community.  

Her work with Soul Survivors of Chicago centers around suicide prevention and the promotion of mental health and wellness.  She stands and fights for suicide prevention, stronger education regarding mental health, supporting families and individual impacted by trauma, loss and gun violence.   She produced the 2021 documentary entitled “We Cry Your Tears: The Jamal Clay Story” and the documentary “Makes Me Wanna Holla- Healing From Loss, Learning From Tragedy & Finding Recovery”. (See link below for viewing).

Soul Survivors of Chicago, NFP   PSA:

“We Cry Your Tears: The Jamal Clay Story":



  • Congresswoman Robin Kelly #IL02Local Hero Spotlight-Mental Health Awareness Month

  • ESSENCE Magazine - “The Kids Are Not Alright”  May/June 2022 Edition 

  • National Board of Certified Counselors- Honorary Presenter June 2022 Washington, DC

  • Mental Health Academy- 2022 Suicide Prevention Summit 

  • Keynote Speaker for the 2022 National LOSS TEAM Conference


  • American Association of Suicidology - Presenter April 2022

  • Detroit/ Wayne Integrated Health Network - July 2022 Presenter

  • Harvard University Alumni of Color Conference- "Planting the Seeds: Fostering Pathways for Equitable Mental Healthcare”- Presenter March 2022

  • Kaiser Health News Podcast- Science Friday edition- 2021

  •  Black News Channel - Featured Guest September 2021.  

  • Chicago Southtown 2022

  • Chicago Tribune 

  •  WVON 1690 Radio

  • Chicago Crusader American 

  • American Psychological Association (APA) Conference August 2022 





 Rafiah is a native of the South Side of Chicago (Auburn Gresham) community. She is graduate of Rich Central High School (1993);  Southern University and A&M College (BSW - 1998) and completed her Masters Degree in Social Work from Southern University at New Orleans, New Orleans Louisiana (2000).



  • 100 Pretty Purses Women Resource Fair May 2022-Participant

  • Southside Strong Prevention Coalition-Member

  • A Safer Foundation - Crossroads program- Partner 

  • National Council of Negro Women -Member

  • St. John Church-Baptist Health Ministry- Facilitator

  • Dr. Charles E. Gavin Women Auxiliary member

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