Master of Ceremonies
Sonny Kelly is a world class performer, story teller, motivator, speaker, and comedian. He holds a PhD in Communication & Performance Studies from UNC Chapel Hill (2020). Sonny is also a graduate of St. Mary’s University (MA, Communication Studies, 2008) and Stanford University (BA, International Relations, 1998). After serving our nation as a U.S. Air Force officer, Sonny has gone on to serve as non-profit organization director, university admissions counselor, award winning pharmaceutical salesman, college communications instructor, and a church youth pastor. As a lover of theater and performance, Sonny has acted professionally on stage and television for over 20 years. He is also a writer and director of live theater as well as the creator and co-host of the CrossOver radio show on WIDU Radio in Fayetteville, NC. As a professional storyteller, he has performed for the National Association of Black Storytellers, the Black Storytellers’ Alliance, as well as schools, businesses and civic organizations across the country. He is a proud participant in the Fayetteville Cumberland County Arts Council's Artists in Schools. As a professor and scholar, Sonny's research and work focus on interpersonal communication, performance, critical pedagogy and public speaking. His research is based upon developing trauma-informed performance-based interventions to empower under-served youth to counter the School to Prison Pipeline. On March 11, 2002, Sonny committed his life to Jesus Christ, and has sought to share God’s love with everyone in his midst ever since. He is also the blessed husband of Elenah and father of Sterling and Langston. No matter where he is, or what he is doing, Sonny’s passion for teaching, engaging and empowering others through love is unmistakable!