Backtalk with Boris Kodjoe & Nicole Ari Parker - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

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Audiences fell in love with Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker when the actors first appeared on Showtime’s hit television series Soul Food, which aired from 2000 to 2004. Kodjoe, the Austrian-born model turned actor, and Parker, also a former model, were nominated for NAACP Image Awards in the outstanding actor and actress categories between 2001 and 2005. In 2004, Parker and Kodjoe starred together as a newly remarried couple in UPN’s sitcom Second Time Around. The next year life imitated art when they exchanged vows in Germany two months after the birth of their first child, Sophie. About a year and a half later their son, Nicolas, joined them.

Sadly, the joy of starting a family was eclipsed early when the couple learned that Sophie was born with spina bifida, a serious birth defect that can cause mild to severe nerve damage, paralysis, and incontinence. After the diagnosis, the couple put their careers on hold as they struggled to learn about the condition. This process led them to launch Sophie’s Voice Foundation in 2008. The foundation’s first  goal is to raise $1.8 million so that 20 children chosen by a random drawing can participate in a surgical clinical trial, which they hope will correct incontinence for children with the condition.

In an interview with Black Enterprise, the couple shared how their daughter’s condition has changed their lives, taught them endurance, and inspired them to help other families.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.


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