Category Archives: Emerald Voices

Emerald Voices: Mrs. Sokha

by Sharon H. Chang

SOKHA OUK, fondly called Mrs. Sokha (pronounced SO-kah) by parents, staff and students, holds the official title of Office Support at Hawthorne Elementary School. But that title doesn’t do her justice. Really she’s everything from family support assistance, field trip chaperone, to reading help and crosswalk guard. And she does it everywhere from classroom-to-classroom, in the front office, to the nurse’s office and on the playground. Continue reading Emerald Voices: Mrs. Sokha

Emerald Voices: Remembering 김영섭, Michael Layton Taylor (1972-2016)

by Sharon H. Chang

 KIM, YOUNG SEOB was born on September 19, 1972 in South Korea. Six months later he was left at an orphanage near Seoul with no explanation. He would never see his birth family again nor ever know why he had been surrendered. Five years later Kim, Young Seob was selected for transnational adoption. He was placed with an elated interracial U.S. couple, Larry Layton Taylor (white) and his wife Fuyo (Japanese). The young child boarded a long flight overseas to join his new parents in a foreign land called Seattle, Washington. Continue reading Emerald Voices: Remembering 김영섭, Michael Layton Taylor (1972-2016)

Emerald Voices: Darryl Smith

by Sharon H. Chang

DARRYL SMITH, former Deputy Mayor of Community and founder of Columbia City Beatwalk, is not only a heartfelt but eloquent man. His words are smooth and dedication is profound in everything he says. More importantly he’s a community man, deeply invested resident and long time organizer. Simply put he cares. And, Darryl explains, he’s never known any other way. Born and raised in Englewood, New Jersey, in a racially diverse and political neighborhood called the Third Ward “I grew up in a household where my mom was the campaign manager for the first African American mayor in Bergen County,” he says. “It was normal to have Jewish friends and we all went to Quaker-run sleepaway camp…I just grew up like that.” Continue reading Emerald Voices: Darryl Smith