About

Our Mission

PEACE through PIE is grassroots non-profit Peace Movement. We partner with schools, diverse faith groups, businesses, and community organizations to create programs and experiences that promote the skills and values that grow a humanistic, culture of peace

Our Story

During the 1995 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, our founder Luanne Stovall was watching a documentary of Dr. King's life, when the message of courage, social equity, and empowerment sparked a deep connection within her. Three important questions came to mind.

Why do we celebrate a holiday - any holiday - year after year? What would it take to grow January's MLK Holiday into a thriving model like Thanksgiving, another holiday that honors generosity of the human spirit and our ability to overcome hardship? How can peacemaking be transformed into an everyday practice?

As an artist, color theorist, and educator, Luanne wears many hats. All are connected by a deep-rooted support for the practice of treating others with generosity, respect, and humanity, and the power of creativity to inspire positive action.She was “called by the PIE” on the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday in January 1995, and baked the first Peace PIE that sparked our organically grown peace movement.

Luanne has an MFA in painting from Tufts University and has taught Living Color, Advanced Color, Color and Design Foundations for the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; University of Texas, Austin; and the Art Institute of Austin. Currently she is teaching and writing The New Color, a 21st Century Field Guide, a multidisciplinary way to study complex color codes in nature and culture. Her artwork is in numerous collections including the Blanton Museum of Art, Corpus Christi Museum of Art, The Revlon Collection, and Moakley Cancer Care Center in Boston. Luanne is delighted to collaborate with a dynamic creative team working to expand the network of  a new generation of peacemakers.

How do we grow a culture of peace?

Holiday recipes remind us that the sharing of food is vital to all communities. They bring us together with invisible apron strings, weaving back through generations. The MLK Holiday had yet to a grow a special food tradition to symbolize its core message and invite us to the table. That was when Luanne was “called by the PIE”. She chose a favorite recipe and lit the oven. When the pie cooled down, she wrote I Have a Dream on top with red icing and shared it with family and friends. Old Fashioned Buttermilk became the first Peace PIE.

The first public sharing of Peace PIE took place at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksville, the oldest surviving freedom town west of the Mississippi River, founded by former slaves of Texas Gov. Elisha Pease. Pastor Steve Manning, Choir Directors Shirley and Ed Collins, the Sweet Home congregation, and a team of passionate volunteers hosted the MLK Social attended by over 250 participants.

Since 2009, more than 55,000 people in Austin and across the country have been part of our growing peace movement by hosting PEACE through PIE Socials, developing programming around PIE Circles, and sharing Peace PIE. Join us to connect with fellow PIEoneers and be part of  a new legacy of peace!

Meet Our Team

PEACE through PIE is growing a diverse team with talents, skills, and resources that enrich our PIE365 programs. This involves expanding our collaboration and advisory support with schools, diverse faith groups, businesses, and community organizations to support a sustainable culture of peace. We are actively looking for Board of Directors, Development Advisors and Volunteers who share our vision and are passionate about working together to achieve our goals.

Leslie Mattison

Executive Director

Leslie believes that leading with our humanity is central to making peace sustainable. Together we are healthier and stronger when through shared values, we can stand for each other and for something larger than ourselves. To her, peacemaking is striving for a connectedness that leads us toward a path of empathy, understanding, and appreciation for each person’s unique experiences and points-of-view.  

As a native of San Francisco’s melting pot, Leslie brings an eclectic backgrounds filled with people from diverse cultures and culinary traditions. She has strength in entrepreneurship, specifically in business strategy, brand development, clothing design, and as a artist/designer under the label Art for Brands and Causes. She holds a BA degree in Business Management from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga CA, a degree in Apparel Design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and has supplemental study in Graphic Design, Fine Arts at Boise State University, Design and Illustration at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, and Multimedia Certificate studies at San Francisco State University.

April Harris

Directer - Milwaukee

April believes that diversity is our strength. She strives to create environments where many voices and perspectives can be shared, ultimately leading to inclusive (rather than exclusive) experiences. April brings leadership and business strategy to PEACE through PIE’s  local efforts, focusing on programs, relationship building, and development. A former pie baking business owner, April offers first-hand knowledge of the skill and artistic process needed to bake a great pie.

She holds a MBA in Entrepreneurship from Kaplan University, and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Governors State University. In her spare time, April enjoys raising her three family cockatiels and baking homemade pies for her husband and friends.

Winton Mattison

Operations & Finance

Winton believes that strong communities provide crucial support systems, and create the best foil against polarization, tribalism, and 'othering'. He lives by his mantra 'strength is in the power of many moving together', and brings a strong commitment to collaboration and team building. This is a value he experienced in his words ‘I was truly raised by the village.’ His community support system helped him grow into a person with strong human-centered skills that serve as a foundation in both business operations and team building.  

Winton has 35 plus years of career experience in corporate, startups, and entrepreneurship. As the primary administrator for the organization’s software platforms, he is steering the organization to financial sustainability and long-term growth. Winton holds a Liberal Arts degree from Hendrix College focused on Business and Economics, and a Master of Science in Telecommunications from Golden Gate University. He has augmented executive education from various intuitions, including study on Non-profit Organization management.

Board of Directors & Advisors

April Harris

Secretary of the Board

Winton Mattison

Treasurer of the Board

Jennifer Cotteleer

Board of Directors

Luanne Stovall

President of the Board

Rob McDonald

Board of Directors

Lupé Pirul

Board of Directors

Toni Tipton-Martin

Advisor

Hoover Alexander

Advisor