#NationalPeaceDay — Info & Timeline

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by jeni No Comments

 

#NationalPeaceDay

Information…
Action...
Updates… 

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National Peace Day
MAIN PAGE

click HERE…

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Sign the Petition HERE…

 

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INFORMATION…

 

What is being asked of the President?

We are requesting that the President of the United States sign the proclamation request submitted by former Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and supported by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), former State Senator Jennie Forehand (MD), Rockville, MD Mayor Bridget Newton, Montgomery MD County Council Member Sidney Katz, numerous additional local politicians and national celebrities, and more than 9,000 U.S. citizens for a National Peace Day to be celebrated each year on July 17.

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Why does a National Peace Day matter?

A national day designated for peace matters because peace matters! Our country is in desperate need of non-violent conflict resolution, anti-bullying programs, and simple kindness. Peace is possible – if we make peace something that matters to us and for others, and if we choose to reflect on how peace begins and grows, and then learn to respond and reach out with peace through deliberate attitudes and actions.

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Why is the day linked to Mattie J.T. Stepanek & July 17?

Mattie J.T. Stepanek is the late teen poet and peace activist who penned seven NY Times Bestselling books of poetry and essays, each filled with inspiration and information about hope and peace and purpose. Mattie took the abstract concept of peace and explained it in ways that make it understandable, desirable, and achievable. He offered a “Three Choices for Peace” template that can move peace from a possibility to a personal, community, and national reality. Mattie’s birthday is July 17.

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How is a national peace day different from the international one?

The mission of the International Day of Peace is to promote the absence of war and violence, even if only for a temporary humanitarian aid related ceasefire. The mission of the proposed National Peace Day is very different. Rather than “pause violence,” this day would bring diverse individuals and communities together to “begin peace”- through both education and celebration. By understanding how peace begins – with deliberate choices in attitude and action – it becomes a sustainable reality that grows within and between people and communities, and across time.

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What early support was a part of this campaign effort?

  • During Spring 2013, Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation Board Director Wendy Thompson initiated the endeavor of proclaiming July 17 (Mattie’s birthday) as an annual and national Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Day.
  • During Summer 2013, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting this day be proclaimed for our country.
  • During Fall 2013, Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter wrote a letter of support for this endeavor.
  • During Winter 2014, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) wrote a letter of support for this endeavor.
  • During Spring 2014, CNN News Correspondent Chris Cuomo and country singer Billy Gilman offered support.
  • During June 2014, Congressman Jim Moran (D-MD) signed our online Petition.
  • During June 2014, Maryland State Senator Jennie Forehand supported the Petition.
  • During June 2014, Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) supported the Petition with a letter to President Obama.
  • During June 2014, Mayor Bridget Newton (Rockville, MD) and Mayor Sidney Katz (Gaithersburg, MD) signed the Petition.
  • During June 2014, the Muscular Dystrophy Associate encouraged their staff and families to support the Petition.
  • During June 2014, the MitoAction organization encouraged their staff and families to support the Petition.
  • During July 2014, Children’s Hospice International encouraged their staff and families to support the Petition.
  • On July 2, the local Gazette helped us “make peace the news” with a campaign article (read it here…)
  • During July 2014, the City of Rockville, Maryland proclaimed Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Day for July 17 at a local level.
  • On July 17, Senators Mikulski & Cardin co-introduced a congressional Resolution to honor Mattie’s life and legacy and give support to the national Mattie Peace Day Campaign
  • On July 19, children and adults from around the world gathered in Mattie’s Park to celebrate Mattie’s 24th birthday, to unveil the new Peace Pole, and to “talk peace’ and sign the petition. The event was covered by two local news stations. READ MORE HERE…
  • On Jul7 22, 2014 Resolution 509 (interdicted on 7/17 by both Maryland Senators) was passed, recognizing Mattie’s life and legacy as a peacemaker, and supporting the campaign for a peace day in his honor.
  • According to a Congressional website, “Mattie” and “Stepanek” were 2 of the 3 top words in the House on July 22, the day the Senate passed the Resolution to honor Mattie.
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What is happening with the Campaign now?

  • During late summer/early fall 2014, White House representatives had conversations with Jeni Stepanek, PhD (Mattie’s mom and Executive Director of his Foundation). They were aware of the Campaign, though had concerns about it honoring a specific person.
  • During 2015, Mattie’s mom was diagnosed with cancer, and Campaign activity slowed.
  • During 2016, citizens in the United States made it clear that they were divided in many ways. The presidential campaign and election resulted in great unrest and concern.
  • During November 2016, Mattie’s Foundation decided to re-launch the Campaign, but with a revised name –National Peace Day. The mission is to bring our country together. Peace unifies — and our great country needs a day to celebrate peace as a choice.
  • By November, 2016, our online Petition, was signed by more than 8,000 global citizens (so far)
  • During 2017, the leaders of the City of Rockville, Maryland and the neighborhood of King Farm in Rockville expressed commitment to recognizing Peace Day as an annual local event, and to serving as community role models to encourage the National Peace Day proclamation through year-round activities that encourage peace as a deliberate choice — for individuals of all ages and for local and global communities.
  • We are reaching out to additional politicians for support, and to all citizens, and we are encouraging the media to move from attitude to action in supporting the need for peace and unity in our country.
  • We are encouraging citizens diverse in age, ability, aspiration, race, religion, and other realities to do the same. This Campaign is now a matter of national urgency.
  • Join us in the Campaign for National Peace Day — A United Choice — that moves one child’s legacy to a gift of healing, for our all.
  • The Washingtonian Magazine is working on a feature story about Mattie’s legacy, Jeni’s peace work with Mattie’s Foundation, and the National Peace Day Campaign. The 2017 Peace Day Party planned for July 16 will be discussed in the article!

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ACTION….

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What is needed now to move this effort forward?

We need YOUR SUPPORT
in ATTITUDE and ACTION!

Peace is for all people – all faiths and political preferences, all ages and abilities. Most people want peace — and now it is time to move from ”attitude to action” so that peace shifts from a possibility to a reality. Any person can help put peace on our National Agenda by signing our Petition for National Peace Day (CLICK HERE). Here is a list of simple choices you can make, right now:

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5 quick, free choices for peace
…each takes only a minute,
So pause NOW for peace:

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  1. Sign the Petition HERE…
    it takes LESS THAN 1 Minute — Please, SIGN NOW. -
  2. Recruit at least 5 friends to sign 
     (Mattie’s favorite number: 5 — let’s celebrate!) -
  3. Ask your local & state politicians or celebrity affiliations
    —– to join the effort and share their voices on the Petition.
    —> (Download our reproducible information letter HERE…)
    Find your state Senators:
     http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
    Find your state Congressional representatives:
    – http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/-
  4. Spread the word with Social Media
    —- Family, Friends & Colleagues
    Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and more…
      Use Hashtags:
    — #NationalPeaceDay    #Mattie    #July17
    —– #POTUS    #ChoosePeace
  5. Plan and participate in
    “Peace Chat” and/or “Peace Day” activities

    —- — at home, school, work, community…
    See our “FAQ” and “Story & Discussion Ideas” tips HERE…
    – Send us photos and comments from your activities
    ——–to post on our What You Are Saying pages…
    – Share information with local and national leaders,
    ——- and request that they join the effort
    —— - to put peace on our national calendar.  

 

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What happens when National Peace Day is proclaimed?

Mattie’s Foundation is preparing a Press Kit so that when the President signs the National Peace Day proclamation, we can make information available to spread the good news that PEACE is now a part of our National Agenda!
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When proclaimed,  this day will be celebrated each year on July 17 — Mattie’s birthday.
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Mattie’s Foundation will support individuals and communities in creating “pathways to peace” activities, materials, and programs that will raise awareness of peace, that will educate citizens about choices for peace, that will support people of all ages in seeking and making and bring peace (for one’s self and for our world), and that will celebrate peace.

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Question from many of Mattie’s followers:

“Have you let Oprah, Jimmy Carter, Nile Rodgers, Larry King, Chris Cuomo, Billy Gilman, Christopher Cross, and Mattie’s other celebrity friends know about the peace day petition?”

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—- Response from Mattie’s mom: 

I have let everyone I can think of and reach out to know about the July 17 Mattie Stepanek Peace Day petition, and I welcome and encourage the support of Mattie’s friends — from every day citizens to celebrities. Thus far, I have received personal messages of support, but little public support from Mattie’s more famous friends (yet) — with the exception of Jimmy Carter who personally wrote a letter to President Obama and also sent us a video clip for our new documentary project. Perhaps the level of celebrity support will change, but I am counting on the every day citizens to be the ones who will carry this for Mattie, and for the country. There are hundreds of millions of everyday citizens, and tens of thousands who are Mattie followers. Our politicians and president act on behalf of “we, the people.” Remember – one person can make a difference, but together, we can create change. Let’s be the ones who make peace the news, as everyday citizens who give voice to something that matters — Peace. –> Sign here… 

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Where can more information about Mattie J.T. Stepanek and peace be found?

For more information about Mattie, his message of hope and peace, and the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation which carries forth his legacy and creates programs and materials to support people of all ages and abilities and aspirations in understanding and choosing peace, please visit and explore:

www.MattieOnline.com

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CLICK HERE
to sign our
Change.org Petition

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Please contact or write
to your local politicians,
and help us put PEACE
on our national calendar.

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NEWS & TIMELINE UPDATES…

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UPDATE (June/July 2017)

  • The City of Rockville, Maryland and the King Farm Citizens Assembly (local neighborhood) express commitment to making Peace Day an annual event – to be proclaimed each year for July 17, and to be celebrated with educational, recreational, and inspirational activities during a Peace Gathering/Party on a weekend near the date.
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  • The leaders are also committed to moving forward with the Pathways to Peace Program and becoming “Peace Certified” as a community, recognizing that PEACE UNIFIES, and the importance of choosing to “Make Peace the News.”
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  • The 2017 Peace Day Proclamation will be issued during the July 10, 2017 City Council Meeting in Rockville, Maryland (begins 7 pm). City and KFCA leadership representatives are working with representatives of Mattie’s Foundation to plan the July 16 Peace Day Party to commemorate this event.

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 “From one child’s legacy…
a gift of healing for our country.”

UPDATE (November 2016)

  • Mattie’s Foundation updates the peace day campaign — in effort, and in name.
  • 1 – Due to the increasing unrest and divisions in our country that have grown during and since the 2016 presidential campaign and elections, we have re-opened our peace day campaign – PEACE UNIFIES!
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     “From one child’s legacy… a gift of healing for our country.”
  • 2 - Due to feedback from White House representatives that declaring a “day” in a particular person’s honor is rare and unlikely, we are changing the name of this campaign to “National Peace Day” – still to be celebrated on July 17 (Mattie’s birthday).
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    “Peace is for ALL people… all races and religions, and all political affiliations.
    —– Let’s let peace unify us, by choice.”
     

UPDATE (June/July 2016)

Mayor & City Council Declare July 17, 2016
Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Day
for Citizens of Rockville, Maryland
  • During the June 20, 2016 City Council meeting, Mayor Bridget Newton and the Rockville, Maryland City Council issued a proclamation declaring July 17 (Mattie’s birthday) a day of peace for local citizens, a proclamation they make year after as leaders of a “community of peace.” As in previous years, the day of peace will be celebrated during the July 4 collaborative activities in the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park & Peace Garden.

UPDATE (Spring/Summer 2015)

  • Mattie’s Foundation continues to work towards a national peace day to be recognized on July 17 each year — a day set aside not for a pause in violence, but instead for beginning peace. A day to consider choices for peace, in attitude and in action. A day to reflect on and celebrate Mattie’s vision for peace as a possibility, when basic needs are balanced and people are enabled to “be okay with who and how they are” — despite differences, and in celebration of them as “unique treasures!”
  • Until we secure a national day of peace, we encourage individuals and communities to pause on July 17 each year — for peace. We are declaring Peace Day, each year on Mattie’s birthday as a Foundation. Please join us in a virtual show of support for this journey. Send us photos and/or statements about how you mark July 17 as Peace Day — and we will post your contributions on Mattie’s website.
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UPDATE (June/July 2015)

Mayor & City Council Declare July 17, 2015
Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Day
for Citizens of Rockville, Maryland
  • During the June 22, 2015 City Council meeting, Mayor Bridget Newton and the Rockville, Maryland City Council issued a proclamation declaring July 17 (Mattie’s birthday) a day of peace for local citizens, a proclamation they make year after as leaders of a “community of peace.” The day of peace will be celebrated during July 4 collaborative activities in the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park & Peace Garden, beginning with a Peace Gathering hosted by Mattie’s Foundation, and continuing with concerts and fireworks hosted by the City.
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UDPATE & SUMMARY (September 2014) 

  • Mattie’s Foundation continues to work towards a national peace day to be recognized on July 17 (Mattie’s birthday) each year — the purpose being to set aside a day for children and adults in our country to reflect on, respond to, and reach out with peace choices. This day of “beginning peace” would complement and support the international peace day — which is focused on pausing violence for 24 hours as a tool for ending wars.
  • It is a long journey towards that national day. So, in the meantime, Mattie’s Foundation will be proclaiming this day at an organization level each year, just as the City of Rockville, Maryland and a growing number of families, schools, and communities are doing at personal and local levels. Please choose to join us — both in the the journey towards a national #MattiePeaceDay, and also in celebrating peace with us.
  • We are working on a peace packet that will support individuals, families, and communities of all sizes in celebrating Mattie’s Peace Day – as a time to pause, and learn about choosing peace as a deliberate attitude and action. We want to share Mattie’s message about how peace begins — within each of us, when our basic needs are met so that we can be okay with who we are as person. When we are okay with who and how we are, it becomes easier to learn about our neighbors — around the block and around the world — and support them in equitable access to basic needs, so that they, too, can be okay with who and how they are as people.
  • Ending wars matters — but peace is not just about ceasing violence for a day or a period of time. Peace is about embracing a non-violent message and action plan as a way of thinking and doing and being each day. We do not have to agree with each  other or be like other to have peace. Peace is about balancing basic needs and desires, and learning to be okay with ourselves and others, and to use non-violent methods to express disagreements.
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  • Shifting attitudes and actions involves dedication, education, and celebration.  As we journey towards recognition of Mattie’s Peace Day by our nation’s leasers, Mattie’s Foundation will be celebrating this activity every year — with information and inspiration, resources and events. We invite you to join the growing number of individuals, families, schools, organizations, neighborhoods, churches, communities, and cities who are joining us in this effort — and declaring July 17 ”Mattie’s Peace Day” at local levels.
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UPDATE (August 2014)

  • A representative from the White House Office of Public Engagement reached out to say that they are aware of the Mattie Peace Day campaign. Mattie’s Foundation was told that presidential proclamations are very rare nowadays, and even more rare to be named in honor of a particular person. BUT, if a member of Congress (not an aide or representative but an elected politician) sends a letter to President Obama requesting “a proclamation for an annual July 17 Mattie Stepanek Peace Day” — it could be happen.
  • The two Maryland U.S. Senators, one Maryland U.S. Congressman, and a former U.S. president have written letters — we need more letters from citizens and congressional representatives. And please continue to sign the online petition…
  • Please, contact your congressional representatives and ask them to send a letter to President Obama.
    Thank you! (state links provided below…).

NEWS UPDATE (July 23, 2014)

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NEWS UPDATE (July 2014):

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NEWS UPDATE (July 2014)

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NEWS UPDATES (July 2014) 

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NEWS UPDATES (June 2014): 

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Return to National Peace Day
main Campaign page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Spotlight

In-Kind Support

Celebrating our "in kind" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with services and materials. Thank you ezStorage, Montgomery Printing, Parcel Plus, and Potomac Valley Brick! Read more...

Nourishment Support

Celebrating our "nourishment" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with food and services. Thank you Botanero Restaurant, Fontina Grille, Safeway, Coffee Republic, and Red Hot & Blue! Read more...

Community Support

Celebrating our "community" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with commitment and participation. Thank you City of Rockville, King Farm Citizen's Assembly, Kick's Karate & Mix 107.3! Read more...

Champion Support

Celebrating our "Foundation Champions" -- sponsors and volunteers of all ages who support Mattie's Foundation through donations, brick sponsorships, participation in our activities and events. Thank you!!! Read more...

- Mattie J.T. Stepanek