Petition Closed

Declare July 17th Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Day

Millions have been inspired by the late 13-year-old poet and peacemaker, Mattie J.T. Stepanek. On July 17, we want to celebrate peace, and the life and legacy of Mattie through a national peace day in his honor.

Who is Mattie J.T. Stepanek?
Jimmy Carter called Mattie J.T. Stepanek “the most remarkable person” he has ever known. Oprah Winfrey named him as one of her top three most memorable guests across her 25 years of programming. A congressional resolution was passed in his honor after he died, and a flag was flown over the US Capitol to honor his many contributions to society. Members of the Catholic church are gathering information on his heroic virtues for a possible Cause for Canonization. All this, and more, in honor of a child who died just before his 14th birthday due to a rare neuromuscular disease, but who left a legacy that continues to grow and inspire people. A legacy of hope and peace, guided by a simple, clear, and achievable message rooted in personal choices.

What is the petition?
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Mattie’s passing --- let's commemorate his peace mission and legacy by proclaiming July 17, his birthday, Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Day.

What is being asked of President Barack Obama?
We are requesting that President Barack Obama sign the proclamation request submitted by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and supported by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)State Senator Jennie Forehand (MD), Mayor Bridget Newton (Rockville, MD), Mayor Sidney Katz (Gaithersburg, MD), and a growing number of citizens for a national Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Day to be celebrated each year on July 17.

Why does a national peace day matter?
A national day designated for peace matters because peace matters! Our world 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. Proclaiming an annual day to consider and celebrate peace makes a clear statement about what matters for our country.

Why is the day linked to Mattie J.T. Stepanek?
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 template of peace choices that can move peace from a possibility to a personal, community, and global reality. July 17 is Mattie's birthday.

Now, we need your voice, and support.
Please sign our petition for Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Day -- make peace your choice, and the news!

For more information about Mattie, peace, and the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation, and to join Mattie in a continued mission for peace, visit   Thank you!

This petition was delivered to:
  • President Barack Obama

    Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation started this petition with a single signature, and now has 8,013 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.