Sophie’s Voice Foundation was founded in 2008 by actors Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker in honor of their daughter Sophie who was diagnosed with Spina Bifida at birth. By dedicating themselves to a healthy lifestyle they found ways to address not only their daughters mental, physical and medical needs but also the needs of their entire family. Boris and Nicole have committed their resources and celebrity to educating multicultural communities worldwide on the importance of families working together to build healthy lifestyle habits one day at a time.

In December 2011, SVF established The Center for Spina Bifida Research, Prevention and Policy (CSB) at Emory University in Atlanta. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory School of Medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory are also founding partners for this center, which seeks to provide national and international leadership in healthcare for individuals with spina bifida. CSB initiatives include the total global prevention of folic acid-preventable spina bifida and the transition for children from pediatric healthcare into accessible adult healthcare.

Nicole and Boris are extremely excited and motivated to be a voice for those unheard and to provide education about prevention and a possible cure for this most preventable birth defect.

As our children got older and grew more and more interested in some of our initiatives and projects, we decided to expand the work of the Foundation to accommodate some of Sophie and Nicolas’ social and cultural activism interests. As of June 2019 we have changed the name to the Kodjoe Family Foundation.

Board of Directors

Boris Kodjoe
Nicole Ari Parker
Regina Boone
Vicki Palmer
Steve Ewing
James Brown
Patrick Kodjoe
Avis Richards
Cathie Hartnett – Executive Director

Boris Kodjoe

Boris Kodjoe is an actor, director, producer, investor and philanthropist. He currently stars in the 7th and final season of the ABC Grey’s Anatomy spin-off hit series Station 19. The actor, whose movies have grossed over $1 billion at the box office, is known for his roles in House Of Cards, The Last Man on Earth, Brown Sugar, Soul Food, the Resident Evil franchise, and The Real Husbands Of Hollywood.

Boris Kodjoe is a German/Ghanaian dual citizen who received his bachelor’s degree in Business from Virginia  Commonwealth University where he attended on a tennis scholarship. He has 25+ years of business development and advisory expertise in entertainment, media and tech.

Boris co-founded “Full Circle Festival” that brings together business leaders, cultural influencers, and government officials to create synergies around economic development and Africa-focused investment opportunities. President Nana Akufo-Addo credits his team for helping to contribute $1.6 billion of tourism revenue to the Ghanian economy in 2019. Their annual week-long Full Circle Economic Conference features heads of states as well as business, entertainment and academia VIPs to engage in solution-based dialogue with the goal of creating a mindset shift from charity and aid dependency to investing in the continent of Africa.

He and his wife, Nicole Ari Parker, have built the successful GymWrap fitness apparel line with a wide retail and online presence. The Kodjoes also support health and wellness initiatives for underserved communities via their Kodjoe Family Foundation. They recently launched the “Love All Scholarship Program” supporting black High School students who show promise in the classroom and on the tennis court. Their mission with the program is to give black students an opportunity to develop their talents in order to gain access to a college education. In 2010 The Kodjoe Family Foundation (formerly Sophie’s Voice Foundation) was a founding partner of the Center For Spina Bifida Prevention along with Emory University in Atlanta.

Nicole Ari Parker

Seven-time NAACP Image Award nominated actor, producer, and entrepreneur Nicole  Ari Parker currently stars in season 3 of the Max hit “And Just Like That”, the wildly  successful reboot of the iconic comedy Sex and The City.  

Parker is best known for her outstanding performance as Teri Joseph on Showtime’s  award-winning original series “Soul Food” and has previously been featured in a variety  of hit television series including NBC’s “Chicago P.D.”, Fox’s “Empire”, Amazon’s “The  Romanoffs” and Showtime’s “I’m Dying up Here”. On the big screen she starred in such  hits as “Boogie Nights” with Marc Wahlberg and Don Cheadle, opposite Denzel  Washington in “Remember The Titans”, with Eddie Murphy in “Imagine That”, alongside  Forest Whitaker in “How It Ends”, in “Brown Sugar” with her husband Boris Kodjoe and  in “Almost Christmas” opposite Danny Glover and Gabrielle Union.  

Parker commanded the stage at the Broadhurst Theater in her 2012 Broadway debut as  Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” opposite Blair  Underwood for director Emily Mann. Her powerful performance as Blanche earned her  an Outer Critics Award nomination. In 2014, she reunited with director Emily Mann as  Cleopatra in “Antony and Cleopatra” at the McCarter Theatre Center. Parker is a  graduate of NYU’s famed Tisch School of the Arts, Circle in the Square Studio. She  received a special award at the Urban World Film Festival, for Outstanding Body of  Work as an Actress.  

Last year, in 2023, Parker starred in the Off-Broadway World Premiere of Nathan Alan  Davis’ “The Refuge Plays”, in a limited engagement at the Laura Pels Theatre in the  Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. Her transcendent performance won  her a 2042 Lucille Lortel Award nomination.  

In 2012, Parker created and launched The GymWrap™ — a fitness apparel company  featuring stylish headbands developed to minimize sweat absorption through a unique  blend of materials and patented technology that allows heat to escape while letting cool  air in. The GymWrap is sold online and in over 1400 retail outlets nationwide.  

Parker and her husband founded the Kodjoe Family Foundation, a charitable organization to raise awareness for global health and wellness initiatives in multicultural communities. The Kodjoe Family Foundation is leading an international effort to prevent neural tube birth defects worldwide.

She lives between New York and Los Angeles with her husband, their two kids and dogs Max & Teddy.


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