Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Michael is the firstborn child of immigrants from Jamaica, West Indies. Moving first to Los Angeles and then to Carmel, California, Michael relocated to Santa Fe with husband, Bill Robnett and their Norwich Terrier, Andrew, in October 2021. His daughter, Anais lives with her husband in Beverly Hills.
While serving as an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, he cofounded the Fund for Homeless Women – supporting programs and services for women who live without adequate shelter on the Monterey Peninsula. Michael served on the board of the Community Foundation for Monterey County, culminating his term while Chair of its Resource Development Committee.
Earlier, in his career as a nonprofit professional, Michael worked as executive director of the World Children’s Transplant Fund, director of programs for the Exceptional Children’s Foundation; and director of development and public relations for both York School and Ability First – formerly known as the Crippled Children’s Society of Southern California.
First in his family to attend college, Michael received a BA from Adelphi University. He then lived into a life-long passion for dance – auditioning and being accepted as a full-time student and apprentice dancer at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He later went on to obtain an MA in Dance Therapy from New York University, an MDiv from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and an EdD from Temple University. He also received a Certificate in Nonprofit Fundraising from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Retiring from parish ministry in 2015, Michael has published three collections of personal essays. His first book is called, No Vacancy: Homeless Women in Paradise, which is currently being distributed by the University of Chicago Press. Other short works have been published in anthologies, magazines and in the New York Times. Most recently, The New Mexican awarded Michael first prize in memoir for his entry called, The Color of Blood in their Pasatiempo 2022 Writing Contest. He is currently working on a second book called Severed Roots – exploring the effects of his family’s diaspora from the Caribbean and into the wider Western world.
In Santa Fe, Michael serves on the Development Committee of the NDI New Mexico, the education and Research committee of the Santa Fe Historic Foundation, and on the Grants Committee of the Santa Fe Community Foundation. He is an active member of the New Mexico Museum Foundation, the School of Advanced Research, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and the Santa Fe Conservation Trust.