What About Peace? is a Global Exchange international arts contest for youth ages 14 – 20 to express ideas and thoughts about peace by responding to the question, “What About Peace?” through artistic expression.

With the submission deadline just one day away, it is finally time to announce who this year’s What About Peace? Grand Judge is, and that person is….drum roll please…

Rae Abileah!!!

What About Peace 2012 Grand Judge Rae Abileah

Rae Abileah is the co-director of CODEPINK Women for Peace (www.codepink.org).  She is also a founding member of Young Jewish Proud, the youth wing of Jewish Voice for Peace. Rae is a contributing author to 10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military; Sisters Singing: Incantations, Blessings, Chants, Prayers, Art and Sacred Stories by Women; Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Stories of Jewish Peace Activists; and Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution.  Her articles have been published on Mondoweiss, AlterNet, Common Dreams, Pink Tank, and she has guest blogged for Global Exchange.

Please join me in welcoming Rae as this year’s What About Peace? Grand Judge. Rae is a shining example of what it takes to be a truly dedicated activist, role model, and leader in the struggle for justice around the world! Last year Kirsten Moller served as the Grand Judge.

The "What About Peace?" art contest submission table

Submissions are pouring in as the deadline approaches. All entries must be received in our office on or before February 15th, 2012 to qualify. The Grand prize is $1000, but more than $2500 in total prizes will be awarded. Check out www.whataboutpeace.org for all the contest details.

On my way to lunch this afternoon, I passed a big pile of incoming mail. The person watching the front desk area told me “Most of these are “What About Peace?” submissions. Crazy, huh?”

I picked one envelope up out of curiosity. The return address said Philippines.

“So cool,” I thought. Each one of these art submissions was created by a young person…poems and short stories, photographs and paintings. Graphic designs, essays and cartoons. Piles of submissions, all about peace. All by young people. From all over the world.

Yes, so cool. And now that we have a cool Grand Judge, we are gearing up for the big announcement. Who will be crowned this year’s What About Peace winner? Stay tuned.