Leona Evans holds a Master of Arts in Religious Studies. She is an ordained Unity Minister, peace activist, and former Chair of the Metaphysics Department at Unity School for Religious Studies. She is the author of The Evolving Peacemaker: A Commitment to Nonviolence, an Amazon #1 Bestseller, which received the 2017 Evergreen Medal for World Peace presented by the Living Now Book Awards. Leona is also certified in Conflict Management and Peacebuilding by the United States Institute of Peace.
Ordained in 1985, Evans has been the minister at Unity of San Luis Obispo, California, for the past twenty-six years, during which time she has taught numerous classes on the power of the mind to shape our destiny. Leona is an accomplished speaker and teacher, and her positive messages have been heard on radio and television stations throughout the world.
Evans is a former Broadway actress, recording artist, and cabaret performer, whose theatrical career of more than thirty years began when she was a small child. She is the proud mother of musician, filmmaker, and actor Matthew J. Evans.
Matthew J. Evans
Matthew J. Evans is an accomplished musician, and award winning young actor and filmmaker. Matthew sings and plays double bass, acoustic guitar, and bass guitar. He is also a documentary filmmaker whose mission is to produce movies and videos that entertain, educate, and inspire audiences to find value and meaning in their lives and in the world.
In 2011 Matthew produced and directed a documentary short film called Poetic Justice Project, which won Best Student Documentary at the Spirit Quest Film Festival in Pennsylvania, Best Young Filmmaker Documentary Short at the Red Rock Film Festival in Utah, and, in 2014, the Gold Jury Prize at the Social Justice Film Festival, Youth Visions Competition in Seattle.
In 2012 Matthew produced and directed a documentary short film called A Quest For Peace: Nonviolence Among Religions, featuring interviews with Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. During 2013–14, the film won awards at nineteen film festivals throughout the country.
A highlight of Matthew’s filmmaking career was receiving the first Teen Art of Making Peace Award in September 2014 from the Peace in the Streets Global Film Festival, presented to him at the United Nations third High Level Forum on a Culture of Peace by Former Under- Secretary-General Anwarul Chowdhury.