Our Collaborator — Three Dot Dash

Posted on: April 23rd, 2012 by jeni No Comments







Three Dot Dash (3DD) is a global initiative of the We Are Family Foundation® designed to recognize and support the efforts of teen leaders around the world who are actively working on projects that promote a more peaceful society by addressing issues related to basic human needs: food, water, health, shelter, safety, education and the environment. The initiative was inspired by the late 13-year-old poet and peacemaker, Mattie J.T. Stepanek.


Jeni Stepanek with 2008 Global Teen Leader from Tanzania

3DD is an innovative year-round leadership and mentoring program that teaches teen leaders how to “tell their stories” effectively using various forms of media, current technology and distribution methods to accelerate their leadership potential, advance their projects, mobilize peers to action and amplify their work to broader audiences around the world. The initiative creates a sustainable worldwide network of individuals, corporations and nonprofit organizations to further the efforts of young leaders by harnessing the power of media, mentoring and social networking to foster public participation around the globe.


The name Three Dot Dash is a mash-up of the old-school international language of Morse code, used by telegraphs, and the two-fingered “V” gesture that has come to be known as the peace sign.  In Morse code, the letter “V” is three dots and a dash. The Three Dot Dash initiative expresses the intent of a new generation of leaders to achieve victory for peace and to transmit a worldwide “peace buzz.” Mattie said that “Peace does not begin with the end of war, but inside each of us. Peace begins with our personal choices, and then grows from balancing the basic needs of all people.” This is the vision for a ‘new peace,’ which is Three Dot Dash.


The anchor event for the 3DD is the annual Just Peace Summit. Every year, 25 to 35 Global Teen Leaders (GTLs) ages 12 to 19 are carefully selected from nominations by a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other qualified organizations. Those who are selected participate in the yearlong 3DD initiative based on their prior accomplishments. The weeklong Just Peace Summit begins the year, and provides the tools GTLs need to further their work and amplify their messages globally. The name Just Peace comes from 3DD’s inspiration, Mattie, and his final book, Just Peace: A Message of Hope.


2008 GTL Mahmoud from Palestine finds his brick during a 2010 visit to Mattie’s Peace Garden

Mattie’s mom, Jeni (aka Mama Peace) shares Mattie’s message and vision for peace in a series of “Mosaic” assemblies that follow the chapters of Mattie’s book. The teens also participate in many  workshops led by many influential and international storytellers and creative activists who are experts in a number of fields related to peace, media, the arts, technology, and public relations.


For one year following the Summit, the GTLs work with a designated one-on-one 3DD mentor to develop, strategize and fulfill goal-oriented action plans that help sustain and amplify their peace activities and projects.

In 2018, the 10th Just Peace Summit brings the total number of GTLs to 300 young people from more than 40 countries on 6 continents who are positively impacting tens of millions of people around the world!



Group Photos across the years from
the 3DD/WAFF Family Album 


2008 Just Peace Summit Global Teen Leaders with Mama Peace


2010 Just Peace Summit Global Teen Leaders with Mama Peace


2011 Just Peace Summit Global Teen Leaders with Mama Peace


2012 Just Peace Summit Global Teen Leaders with Mama Peace


2013 Just Peace Summit Global Teen Leaders with Mama Peace


2014 Just Peace Summit Global Teen Leaders with Mama Peace
Year of the #Hashtag #JustPeace #Selfie


2015 GTLs and WAFF Family Members — Year of the #BestSummitEver



2016 GTLs and WAFF Family Members — #EpicSummit
(with “Mama Peace-bot” — as Jeni shared from her hospital room)


2017 GTLs and WAFF Family Members — #AwesomeYear


2018 GTLs and WAFF Family Members…


To view photos of the 3DD GTLs across the years,
both during the annual Just Peace Summit and
during visits to the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park,
visit our Photo Gallery.

To read more about the amazing peace projects
that these GTLs have created,
visit www.threedotdash.org.




Return to Our Collaborators main page



Return to Mattie’s Foundation main page



May Spotlight

May 5 at Botanero

Cinco de Mayo Partnership Fiesta - FREE ENTRY - All Day Happy Hour & food specials, Music by DJ Genius, ZamDance performances -- join us for a fundraising party that celebrates peace and acceptance! Read more...

June 2 at Dawson's

Mosaics & Music: Make Peace the News -- join us for wine & apps, music & mosaic unveiling, conversation & celebration at a fundraising gathering to promote peace! Early Bird Tickets $25 ($30 at the door). Read more...

June 21 and 22

Celebrating Mattie’s life & legacy – 15-year anniversary Mass on June 22 (11 am) at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Derwood, MD, followed by a reception hosted by Mattie's Guild - ALL ARE WELCOME. Read more...

July 13 in King Farm

2019 Peace Day Celebration – join us for a FREE street fair (1-5 pm), all day food & drink specials (1-8 pm), and a Happy Hour Dance Party (5-8 pm) – arts, crafts, music, performers, cake, moon bounce… Read more...

- Mattie J.T. Stepanek