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February 14, 2018: Global Experience and WorldQuest

Thursday, February 15, 2018  
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Dear friends,

We so enjoyed welcoming high-school teams from around the KC metro area to the KU Edwards Campus on Saturday, February 3, for the fourteenth annual Academic WorldQuest competition. Students answered questions on topics ranging from ASEAN to peacebuilding, and all performed admirably. In the end, honors went to the Barstow School (third place), Shawnee Mission East (second place), and first-place team Blue Valley North, whose members will travel to Washington, D.C., in late April for the national tournament. Big thanks to our wonderful volunteers and sponsors (University of St. Mary, Walmart Store 8208 Lenexa, Commerce Bank, and Park University) for their support; we couldn't do it without you!

The first-place Academic WorldQuest team from Blue Valley North

Last week we hosted Kate Charlet, the 2018 Berkley Lecturer for a series of discussions on cybersecurity. Members gathered at Grand Street Café for a lunch lecture on the future of cyber conflict, students from around the area met with Ms Charlet at the National Archives, and the KC Public Library's Plaza Branch hosted an evening talk on cybersecurity. Our thanks to sponsors KU Medical Center and Sprint for their support of this worthwhile program.

We've just added a new Global Experience program at the end of the month at Port Fonda in Westport. JCCC Director of International Education Tom Patterson will be leading a discussion on the international implications of the 2018 Olympics from 6-7:30 p.m. on Monday, February 26. Space is limited for this free program, so we encourage you to reserve your spot soon. More information is available below.

UMKC will once again play host to the fan-favorite WorldQuest trivia night on Thursday, April 5. Tickets are now available for $45/person, or $360/team of eight, and include parking, dinner, drinks, trivia, and some fabulous prizes. Our quizmaster is putting the finishing touches on this year's questions, which can act as a great team builder for business or university groups. Plus, all the evening's proceeds go to support the IRC's global-education programming. We encourage you to sign up soon or to contact Matthew » if you are interested in being a sponsor like Black & Veatch and Burns & McDonnell.

In the coming weeks, we will be undertaking a redesign of the IRC's website. We invite you to offer your feedback on our current site » with your specific recommendations for what should stay the same and what we can improve to better serve our community. Please complete this survey » at your earliest convenience to help us with this process.

Kind regards,
Matthew Hughes, Executive Director • 816-423-2632

Each week, the World Affairs Councils of America publishes a digest of news stories covering topics from around the world. This week's edition focuses on Russia, U.S. national defense strategy, Tillerson's Middle East trip, Turkey at war, the Maldives, and Zuma. Read more »

This week, the IRC's World Citizen Blog examines Kashmir: A Land Divided and Torn ». We welcome blog contributions from IRC members and friends. If you are interested in writing a blog post, please review some frequently asked questions », where you'll also find out how to submit your post.

Nancy C. Messer, CFA, Treasurer and Chair, Finance Committee – National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Nancy has enjoyed a substantial career in the financial investment industry, first as an equity analyst in the brokerage business and later as a corporate credit analyst with a global credit ratings agency. She is currently a Senior Credit Analyst with NAIC which is headquartered in Kansas City. Nancy has a long standing interest in global economic, business, cultural, and political affairs. She joined the IRC shortly after moving to Kansas City from the East Coast in July 2016. For Nancy, the IRC matters because it creates a forum where intelligent discussion of world events and ideas can inspire thoughtful action.

Christopher Burford, Digital Resources Intern
Christopher Burford is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he received a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and a Multicultural Certificate. While in school he was a volunteer coach for the nonprofit Girls on the Run and interned at the Missouri State Capitol working under Secretary of Treasury Clint Zweifel. He also worked for MU, helping compost food from the dining halls in an attempt to make campus more environmentally friendly. Upon graduating, Christopher worked as an intern at the Sprint headquarters. In his free time he enjoys writing, reading, drawing, and being outside.

Applications are being accepted for the 2018 Institute on Economics + International Affairs in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by The Fund for American Studies in partnership with George Mason University, the program is an eight-week summer academic intern program that offers undergraduate students a first-hand look at international affairs through an internship placement with an international NGO, foreign embassy or policy organization; courses for credit in international economics and U.S. foreign policy; exclusive lectures, briefings and professional development seminars; and housing in the heart of Washington, D.C. Students should apply by March 13 for admission and scholarship consideration. Learn more »

Help shape the brand-new Greater Kansas City Peacebuilding Consortium. Join like-minded organizations from across the metro to create a powerful voice focused on positive peace for our community. Groups promoting equity, health care, education, opportunity, economic security, inclusion, and empathy are invited to connect with, learn from, and collaborate with each other as we share opportunities and best practices in peacebuilding in the Greater Kansas City area. An organizational meeting will be held on Friday, February 23, at JCCC's Collaboration Center. Register to attend »

IRC members are remarkable individuals and organizations who bring considerable international experience, connections, and curiosity to our network and offer unique perspectives and contributions – in some cases, for decades! To help members get to know one another and to celebrate our members' many efforts, we've started highlighting individual and organizational members in the IRC newsletter and on the website. If you know someone who deserves the spotlight, or if you wish to share your own story, please submit this form ». We look forward to getting to know our IRC members!


IRC Member Benefit
KNOW NOW: A New U.S. Strategy for Sudan – Tuesday, February 20 – 1-1:30 p.m. – via conference call
Ambassador (Ret.) Mary Carlin Yates recently returned from Sudan, where she served as U.S. Interim Chargé d'Affaires (2011-2012). The goal of the January trip was to make progress on assessing a re-engagement strategy between the U.S. and this geopolitically significant state, at the crossroads of Africa and the Middle East. "We are at a critical time, and the progress towards re-engagement and having a strong bilateral relationship beneficial to both nations hangs in the balance as Khartoum's government and president flirt with closer relations with Russia," Ambassador Yates told WACA and WorldOregon in an email. Join Derrick Olsen, President of WorldOregon, as he hosts Ambassador Yates for this KNOW NOW call. The IRC is proud to offer this opportunity to IRC members in partnership with the World Affairs Councils of America. To register for the call, or to check your membership status, please contact Matthew ».

Free Program
Global Experience: International Implications of the 2018 Olympics – Monday, February 26 – 6-7:30 p.m. – Port Fonda (Westport)
Our Global Experience series continues with a discussion on the international implications of the 2018 Olympics. Join moderator Tom Patterson, director of International Education at JCCC, for a conversation on what sort of diplomatic lessons, surprises, and foreshadowing came out of this year's Olympic Games. Preparation materials and discussion questions will be provided. This event is admission-free and open to the public, but attendees will pay for their own meals. We hope to see you there!Read more and register »

Registration Open
WorldQuest: Dinner, Drinks, & Global Trivia – Thursday, April 5 – 6-9 p.m. – UMKC's Pierson Auditorium
Spring will soon arrive and, with it, WorldQuest, the IRC's much-anticipated annual trivia night! Join fellow world enthusiasts on Thursday, April 5, for friendly competition and fabulous prizes – all to support a worthy cause. Your $45 ticket ($360/table of 8) covers parking, dinner, drinks, and trivia. Additional contributions (in advance or that evening) are most welcome and will support the IRC's global-education efforts. Sponsorships are available and include prime seating for a table of eight, your logo on the website and event signage, recognition from stage, and your logo displayed during one round of trivia questions. Read more and register »

An incredible network of experienced professionals, travelers, and internationalists in the Kansas City metro area make up the IRC community. With this in mind, the IRC Speakers Bureau facilitates connections between these experts and local organizations, schools, and businesses who are interested in having them speak or present at their events. Many current IRC members are eligible to join the Speakers Bureau as speakers, and the service is free for IRC member organizations. Click here » to learn more, sign up to be a speaker, or request a speaker for your upcoming event.

Great Decisions groups give internationally minded individuals throughout the metro area an opportunity to connect as they explore topics of global significance. Groups affiliated with the IRC set a regular meeting time and location, often over a meal, and use materials prepared by the Foreign Policy Association to lead dynamic discussions. More information about the Great Decisions program, including how to order materials and where and when groups meet, is available here ». Topics for 2018 include the waning of Pax Americana, Russia, China: eco nomic power and geopolitics, media and foreign policy, Turkey: a partner in crisis, the U.S. defense budget, South Africa, and global health.

To purchase 2018 materials (for delivery in January 2018), please click here »


Have an idea for an IRC topic, program, or speaker? We'd love to hear from you! Please complete this form » as often as ideas come to you, and share it with others who might be interested. We may contact you for more information, and you may see your idea in a future IRC program or publication.

Does your business or organization have an upcoming event that could be of interest to IRC members? To have your event considered for inclusion in future IRC newsletters, please contact Matthew Hughes.

KC Interfaith Film Festival », presented by the GKC Interfaith Council
February 1-7 – various locations

Kansas City Chinese New Year Gala », presented by the Kansas City Chinese Association
Saturday, February 3 – 4:30-9 p.m. – Carlsen Center at JCCC

America and the Armenian Genocide », presented by the Dole Institute
Thursday, February 15 – 3-4:30 p.m. – Dole Institute (Lawrence)

Kansas City Folk Festival », presented by Folk Alliance International
Sunday, February 18 – Westin Crown Center

International Festival », presented by Summit Christian Academy
Tuesday, February 20 – 5 p.m. – SCA Elementary (Lee's Summit)

Leaders of Tomorrow Summit », presented by CGSC Foundation and K-State
Thursday, March 8 – 8:30-12:30 – K-State Olathe Campus

Wyandotte County Ethnic Festival »
Saturday, April 14 – 11-5:30 – KCKCC Athletic Field House 

Discover Global Markets », presented by the U.S. Commercial Service
April 30 to May 2 – Kansas City

Go Global KC Luncheon, presented by World Trade Center–Kansas City
Wednesday, June 6

Do you know of a volunteer opportunity that would allow IRC members to work with individuals from a variety of countries and cultures or that focuses on international topics or global issues? To have the opportunity considered for inclusion in the Volunteer Center or future IRC newsletters, please contact Matthew Hughes.

Please click here » to visit the IRC Volunteer Center for more information on one-time and ongoing opportunities to support the IRC and other international initiatives.

PREP-KC Seeks Volunteers to Mentor Students
For more information, contact PREP-KC ». To register for an opportunity, click here ».

  • Career Jumping is a fast-paced career exploration experience (set up like speed-dating) where professionals talk with 3-5 students in eight-minute increments to share their career stories. We are seeking professionals from all fields.
  • Mad City Money is a "game of life" designed to increase students' financial literacy. We are needing volunteers from all backgrounds to staff booths regarding topics including mortgage, transportation, daycare, and others. Directions for each booth will be provided to volunteers upon arrival. MCM is in partnership with the UMKC's Center for Economic Education and United Way of Greater Kansas City.
  • Career Speakers talk with students about their career pathway and how school is relevant to their future. Volunteers rotate through multiple classrooms for approximately 15 minutes each. PREP-KC is seeking volunteers from Arts, Communications, Health, Human Services, Business, IT, Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction, Trades, and other related fields for all events.
  • IGNITE are hands-on experiences to expose students to a range of careers through interactive booths. We can help volunteers create an activity. We are seeking volunteers from all backgrounds.

KC Public Library Seeks Volunteers
Refugee & Immigrant Services & Empowerment is a division of the Kansas City Public Library’s Outreach Department, dedicated to connecting refugee and immigrant patrons and community members to resources for their success. RISE seeks volunteers for the following programs:

  • English for Citizenship Preparation: assist instructor in weekly classes, two hours/week for 12 weeks, one-hour volunteer training session required
  • Citizen Interview Mentor Sessions: work one-on-one to prepare patrons for naturalization interview, one to two hours/week, flexible scheduling, two hours of volunteer training required
  • English-Language Learning: lead small classes (life skills, basic English speaking/reading/writing), two hours/week, one hour of training required

Contacts: Julie Robinson », RISE manager (816-701-3587); Jane Lee », citizenship coordinator (816-701-3673); Katie Taylor », English language coordinator (816-701-3712); Rita Edmonds », RISE VISTA (816-701-3546)

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