(Credit: Saltwire-The Guardian PEI online article, June 17, 2024 and PEIACSW Facebook post)

Michelle Jay is the program co-ordinator at the Advisory Council on the Status of Women. She describes herself as a proud mom, a proud lesbian and a proud social justice activist.

Jay has been a feminist and an advocate for racial and cultural inclusion since her teen years, informed by her experiences growing up in Indigenous communities in Manitoba and Zambia and then volunteering with refugees in Guatemala and Mexico.

Her formal post-secondary education is from Mt. Allison University and UPEI, where she eventually received a BA in psychology.

We asked her 20 questions.

Answers may have been edited for length and clarity.

1 . What is your full name?
Lisa Michelle Jay.

2 . Where were you born and where do you live today?
I like to say that I “pass” as an Islander, because my ancestors on both sides of the family have lived here for many generations, but I was born in Halifax and grew up in Manitoba and Zambia, Africa. I live in Charlottetown now.

3. What is one thing you would like people to know about you?
I am a proud queer feminist woman. And my dream is to one day have a pet goat.

4 . What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I am a gaia singer, a group of women from across North America who sing songs of Carolyn McDade to praise and protect the Earth. I have been part of three recordings.

5 . What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Being a mother, raising a teen. Also the best thing I’ve ever done.

6 . Can you describe one experience that changed your life?
Volunteering with Projecto Accompanamiento to support Guatemalan refugees in Chiapas and Quintana Roo and an epiphanous baboon
encounter at Victoria Falls, Zambia.

7 . What is your greatest indulgence?
JustUs coffee and excellent organic food.

8. What is your favourite book?
“Sophie’s Choice” by William Stryon.

9 . What is your favourite movie?
“Antonia’s Line.”

10 . What music do you like to listen to?
Anything by The Weather Station and Odario Williams’ Night Music on CBC Radio 2

11 . How do you like to relax?
Being silly with my two cats, biking on the Confederation Trail and indoor spin classes at McQueens.

12 . What are you reading or watching right now?
The last show I binge watched was “True Detective” with Jodie Foster and Kali Reis. Swoon. I have a pile of mostly fiction books by my bedside that I dip into sporadically, depending on my mood.

13 . What is your greatest fear?
Climate catastrophe. The loss of so many species is heartbreaking. And that capitalism is the best we can do. Because it sucks.

14 . What is your greatest joy?
Singing meaningful music in community.


15 . What is your most treasured possession?
A moonsnail shell that my Dad brought me from Australia.

16 . What’s the best advice you got from a parent or mentor?
My mom is a powerful mentor to me because of how she fully and energetically lives her life – with joy, positivity, compassion and so much love.

17 . What would you say is your best quality, and what would you say is your worst quality?
I am funny and an open, approachable person. My directness and speaking before “editing” can offend people.

18 . Where is your favourite place in the world?
Panmure Island in eastern P.E.I.

19 . Who do you follow on social media?
I am not enamoured with social media. Mostly I trust CBC online for news and information.

20 . Which three people would join you for your dream dinner party?
Three women I admire and would enjoy greatly are Mary Oliver (poet), Angelique Kidjo (singer-songwriter), Carolyn Taylor (comedian).