Suki Terada Ports was born and raised in New York City. Her father was born and raised in Hawaii, graduated from the University of Oregon, and took classes at Columbia University’s School of Business. Her Japan-born mother grew up in Seattle, Washington, graduated from the University of Washington, and came to NYC to attend Columbia University’s Teachers College and Juilliard School. Unbeknownst to Suki and her sister, their mother was under FBI house arrest during WWII. Their father ran the shop Aoyagi Shoji after the original owner, Mr. Aoyagi, was deported to Japan. Upon her graduation from Smith College, she taught a year in Istanbul, Turkey, and Fair Lawn, New Jersey. While raising three children, she devoted her life to community service, volunteering for the local school board, Morningside Park, and advocating for the rights of HIV/AIDS patients of color and their families. Her service on many boards of not-for-profit organizations includes The Japanese American Association of New York, Inc. Among her many awards, she has received the Smith College Medal and the Emperor of Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays.