National campaign for Red Cross features SCC grad
Published 1:08 am Wednesday, March 15, 2023
After her move to Atlanta in 2021, Raykael Morris wasted no time establishing herself as a host for red carpet events such as Vue Gala, the Smile Heaux Foundation Media Mixer, Dreamhouse Fashion Showcase, the Style Suite Fashion Show, and the Shades of Melanin Brand Showcase.
In her home parish of St. John the Baptist, Raykael, the daughter of Raydel and Dawn Morris, is proud to have served as the emcee of the Andouille Festival in 2019 and 2022.
Her most recent achievement is being the face of the American Red Cross Campaign for African American Blood Donors. Morris was invited to the photoshoot conducted by renowned photographer Lynsey Weatherspoon at Morehouse School of Medicine. The purpose of the photoshoot was to select images to be used in marketing that support the Sickle Cell Initiative of the Red Cross.
On February 21, 2023, Raykael received the news from her publicist who sent her the Red Cross link featuring her picture.
“I felt extremely blessed,” Raykael said, “It is something that I have been working towards for so long, and I am thankful that my hard work is finally paying off.”
The news traveled quickly to her mother Dawn.
“I get goosebumps all day long when I hear about what she does and who she meets,” Dawn said. “She called one day to ask if I had ever seen Roots. I told her, ‘Of course I have.’ Then she told me that she had met Lou Gossett, Jr.!”
That meeting took place at the Juneteenth Gala in Atlanta, another event hosted by Raykael.
In addition to hosting and modeling, Raykael is an on-air radio personality, TV personality, actress, and content creator for her online Instagram Live series titled “On the Raydar” found on her Instagram account, itskellyray. Kelly Ray is the name suggested by her mom.
“The summer before I started LSU, my mom and I were sitting in church playing with my name,” Raykael said. “She grabbed an offering envelope, wrote Kelly Ray on it, and said, ‘This is what you should go by.’”
Her college friends not only know her as Kelly Ray, she was also known as a reporter for The Reveille newspaper as well as several news and radio stations. Since her graduation from LSU in 2019, she has continued to host various radio programs and has her sights set on the national stage.
“My goal is to be a TV host and an actress,” Raykael said. “I’d like to host a national show such as American Idol, or So You Think You Can Dance.” She would also like to interview Beyoncé and Michelle Obama.
Morris is well on her way to fulfilling the motto of her high school, St. Charles Catholic, by Flying High and Shining Bright. Yet her thoughts, and appetite, are never far from her hometown.
“We speak every day,” Dawn said. “And whenever we can, we drive to Atlanta to bring her seafood.”
For more information about the American Red Cross Campaign for African American Blood Donors visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-types/diversity/african-american-blood-donors.html