Martin Luther King Jr. Day is always an occasion to come together to have meaningful conversation about King’s legacy and the continuing struggles to attain the kind of peace he envisioned.
To help foster that communication, Austinite Luanne Stovall created Peace Through Pie, a growing effort to encourage people to make a pie to share with others around this time of year.
“Pie can put us on a path to be able to talk to each other and be humans,” she says. Food has always been a quick path to fellowship, and what better food than pies — or even a pizza — which are meant for sharing.
In recent years, the movement has gained momentum with more than a dozen Central Texas schools and churches hosting celebrations leading up to and following next week’s holiday.
Since 2009, the biggest Peace Through Pie celebration has taken place at the Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church, 1725 W. 11th St. in Clarksville. The 143-year-old church will again host a “pie-luck” from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday that is free and open to the public. Anyone can bring a pie as early as noon on that day, and starting at 1:30 p.m., Bells of Joy Gospel Singers will perform, and the Rev. Steve Manning will read King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The pie social, complete with Blue Bell ice cream, and auction will begin at 3 p.m., with the proceeds from the auction going to the church’s repair fund.
On Sunday, Trinity United Methodist Church, 4001 Speedway, will host a Sunday Supper from 6 to 8 p.m. that will include another pie-luck, as well as a guided discussion (bit.ly/TrinitySundaySupper) on combating racism with Jeremy Solomons and Kazique Prince.
You can find a full list of activities, including events at Travis, Connally, Leander, Austin and Round Rock high schools, and St. James Episcopal and Faith4Life churches, at peacethroughpie.org.
“You don’t have to do it a certain way,” Stovall says. You can meet up at a pizza parlor or buy a pie at the store. “Our intentionality is the important part. It’s about the education and peace that can come from talking face to face.”