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Infectious Diseases

How Boris Kodjoe Is Supporting Black Americans and First Responders During the Pandemic

Photo: Courtesy of Boris Kodjoe

Boris Kodjoe, the star of ABC’s “Station 19,” is focused on self-care. He loves food but not diets, and says his schedule is too busy to spend hours working out. 

“Moderation is key for me,” he said, noting his diet is mostly vegetarian, with no refined sugars. His fitness plan alternates between daily 25-minute interval/resistance training and stretching/mobility routines. He plays tennis some days.

He and his family started KOFIT, a fitness app to help people introduce healthy habits into their lives. 

“In these times of COVID-19, people need support in staying fit and healthy at home,” Kodjoe said. “KOFIT’s physical and mental health tips are simple and effective, and they help out the entire family.”

Nicole Ari Parker, an actress and Kodjoe’s wife, designed performance headbands with black women in mind. Called the GymWrap, the headbands wick away sweat, keeping women’s hair fresh, even during exercise.

“With the GymWrap, women can protect their hairstyles while exercising and staying healthy, yet still be ready to go to work after working out,” Kodjoe said. “We’re hoping men and women realize that adding some healthy habits to your everyday routine will increase your quality of life, even if you start out with five minutes a day.”

Supporting Black Americans

COVID-19 is affecting black Americans at a disproportionately high rate. Kodjoe says the crisis has revealed disadvantages in the community, including pre-existing health conditions and systemic discrepancies in healthcare, education, economic opportunity, social justice, access to healthy nutrition, and more.

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Kodjoe and Parker are discussing social justice and equality issues with their two children. 

“Nicole and I continue to guide our children through their fears and concerns, their hopes and dreams as we address these subjects, and teach them to speak up and be a part of the solution,” Kodjoe said.

The couple has actively advocated for wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parker’s company has been selling masks and donating many to first responders through their #HelpOurHeroes initiative. 

We were inspired by the courage and commitment essential workers and first responders exhibited right from the start, and we wanted to help,” Kodjoe said, explaining they’ve given out more than $500,000 worth of free masks so far and plan to donate more. “Hopefully more people will understand that wearing a mask is not about your personal right but rather your personal commitment to your neighbor’s health.”

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