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Increasingly International

Posted By IRC, Monday, September 9, 2019
Updated: Thursday, August 22, 2019

Growing up in Kansas City, I always had a fascination with other cultures. In elementary school there were periods of times when I would immerse myself in research about Ancient Egypt or the Elizabethan Era. After having the opportunity to visit Thailand and then paying my way to Cuba, I knew I wanted international travel to be a large part of my life. After those two trips, there was no doubt that I would study abroad in college. However, it was not until my junior year of high school that I considered actually going to college abroad full time. My math tutor was the first person to suggest the University of St Andrews and gave me a few names of current students who lived in the Kansas City area. I got into contact with one who went to Rockhurst. After talking with him I was convinced I would be a student at the University of St Andrews. I applied in September and was thrilled to be accepted. The following September I dragged all my suitcases to Kansas City International Airport, and I was off to university!

Now going into my third year at university, I have experienced and learned so much by being completely immersed in a different culture. The University of St Andrews was a faintly known name around private schools in the Kansas City area; however, for a public school such as Shawnee Mission East, the University of St Andrews was unheard of. Since my acceptance to St Andrews, it has become more commonly known among East students. Over the past two years, I have been meeting with East students to talk about St Andrews and the university experience. When I was applying to the University of St Andrews, the closest school representative was in Chicago.

However, now there is a St Andrews school representative in Kansas! Over the last two to three years, there has been more interaction with private schools such as Rockhurst and public schools like Shawnee Mission East with University of St Andrews representatives. This is one of the many factors that is bringing a more international presence to Kansas City. Students from the area are realizing that they do not just have to spend one semester abroad but can fully immerse themselves in a different culture for all four years.

Having the opportunity to travel and be exposed to unfamiliar surroundings is so important in the development of young adults. As we mature and start making an impact in the communities that surround us, travel is an essential experience as it decreases ignorance and gives people a greater understanding for the world that exists outside of Kansas City. Our community is becoming an increasingly international city that has many spheres of influence. By having a school representative from the University of St Andrews within Kansas City is an important factor that can give high school students the opportunity to have a greater knowledge of the world we are a part of.

                                       

About the Author
Kate Higgins is an undergraduate at the University of St Andrews pursuing a double major in International Relations and Social Anthropology.

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The Continuing Importance of the International Criminal Court

Posted By IRC, Monday, September 2, 2019
Updated: Thursday, August 22, 2019

The International Criminal Court (ICC) shines as an example of modern international law. There is nothing quite of its likeness in human history. The ability of a diverse international body to put individuals accused of crimes against humanity and genocide on trial is a great accomplishment of human civilization. The modernity of the International Criminal Court can also work to be one of its greatest flaws.

 

People tend to have a fixation on things in our past, and nostalgia can be a big factor in how people view their history. Collective memory intensifies this practice, and can reach back hundreds, if not thousands of years in order to create a homogenous national identity. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute), which is the defining document from which the ICC draws its strength, was a treaty adopted on July 17, 1998, and it entered into effectiveness on July 1, 2002 (www.icc-cpi.int). Having been in proper effectiveness for only about 20 years gives the ICC little credit with the larger players in the field of international relations, and this limitation tends to be seen mostly within the types of cases that it prosecutes.

 

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the ICC has indicted more than 40 individuals for crimes as outlined in the Rome Statute. Every single conviction has involved an individual from an African nation (www.cfr.org). There has been discussion for the ICC to investigate other instances of crimes against humanity, such as with the Rohingya crisis of South-East Asia. However, the fact that the only indicted individuals are from Africa has led to much opposition to the court, articulated with arguments that assert that the court has an African bias. The relative newness of the court means that realistically it can only take on cases that are feasible to prosecute, and the conflicts that have existed in some African countries provide an easier platform to try individuals without facing much opposition from a strong international player.

 

With each case and subsequent ruling, however, the ICC gains more and more clout as an international organization. This increasing relevance has served to actually spook some of the signatory nations who become fearful that ICC investigators will come to indict their citizens. This has led to some participating nations to either bar investigators from entering their country, as the current Trump administration has done in response to fears of U.S. service members being tried for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan (www.state.gov), or outright withdraw from the treaty itself such as in the case of the Philippine response to ICC investigation of alleged crimes committed under the guise of its “War on Drugs” campaign (www.icc-cpi.int). 

 

The latter situation presents some interesting legal challenges on the issue jurisdiction, specifically on whether or not the ICC would still have jurisdiction to investigate crimes within a former signatory country that occurred while it was still an active member of the ICC. This view is argued by the ICC itself with respect to the Philippine situation, as it asserts that under the rules of the Rome Statute, any investigations that were undertaken by the ICC while a country was a signatory of the treaty, will not be affected upon a country’s written declaration of its intent to remove itself from the Rome Statute (www.icc-cpi.int). 

 

For all of its strengths and weaknesses, the ICC still stands as an important experiment. Is our current system of globalization and international law strong enough to support a system that has the unilateral power to try those who are accused of violating international human rights laws no matter what country they occurred in? We are not quite there yet it seems within our current system. There is still progress to be made, but progress is indeed currently being made in many areas of international law. However, time will tell if this current iteration of the ICC will keep its teeth long enough to become a cornerstone of the international law of the future, or if it will be stripped of its effectiveness before it can make a lasting mark. 

 

About the Author
Garrett Booth was a digital resources intern at the IRC for the Summer 2019 term. He is a senior at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas, majoring in History and Political Science. He intends to use his education to pursue a career with the U.S. State Department or the Foreign Service. 


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The Complexity of the South Korean Age System

Posted By IRC, Monday, August 19, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2019

“How old are you?” In a country with a deeply-rooted set of honorifics based on age, this question not only acts as a basic formality or curious inquiry, but as a method to create a foundation of a relationship. Age will determine various levels of respect and how one person will address the other. This is South Korea’s situation surrounding age. For me, as an American studying abroad in South Korea, answering this seemingly simple question became a challenge. That is because South Korea has its own unique way of calculating age that differs from most western countries. In South Korea, when you are born, you are already a year old. Then, on New Years Day the following year, everyone’s legal age increases by one year. Therefore, a child born on December 31, 2018 would turn two years old on January 1, 2019. You may be able to see my conundrum. In the midst of learning about and adapting to this new culture, I couldn’t even figure out my own age; however, South Korean people have developed a simple formula to ascertain what their Korean age is: 1 + Current year – Year of Birth = Korean Age.

Despite utilizing this special age system, the people of South Korea do, in fact, also recognize and use international age, which is the age system used by America for example. In daily society, South Koreans will use the Korean age system, and the international age system is mostly reserved for government-related regulations, such as the age to start school and the age of consent.

As I mentioned previously, age plays a very important role within South Korean society. The culture utilizes a system of honorifics based on age and the Confucian idea of respecting one’s elders. Therefore, there are certain niceties and behaviors one must adhere to if they are the younger party. For example, during group or business outings or dinners, the youngest of the party typically sets the table for the older members and will also pour drinks for the others. Additionally, it is seen as respectful to let the eldest person begin eating first during a meal. Once two people become closer, they can drop these formalities, but when initially forming relationships, these age-based honorifics seem to be the standard.

Recently, in January of 2019, politician Hwang Ju-hong suggested a bill to encourage the eradication of the Korean age system in favor of the international system. “It is aimed at resolving confusion and inefficiency caused by the mixed use of age-counting systems,” Mr. Hwang stated when he proposed this shift in legislation. Though nothing has come of his proposal yet, there is said to be many political and public discussions on the matter in the making, so we will see if South Korea will continue using both age systems or if they will adopt the international age system as the primary way of calculating age and how this decision will affect the age-based social hierarchical system in the coming years.

 

About the Author
Sydney Logan is a recent graduate from KU with her Bachelors in East Asian Languages and Cultures with a focus on Korean language and culture studies.

 

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Third Culture Kids in Kansas City

Posted By IRC, Monday, August 12, 2019

I am the proud parent of two Third Culture Kids. For those not familiar with the term, a Third Culture Kid (TCK) is someone who spent time during their formative years living in a country other than that of their parents. The term was originally coined in the 1950s by the American anthropologist Ruth Hill Useem. The connotation is that these children are not fully part of their parent’s home culture nor are they fully part of the culture of their transplanted home. Instead, they take pieces from each and find themselves with their own hybrid—or third—culture.

In our case, my children lived in England for four years. Their formal education began in London where they were surrounded by other TCKs that were the children of other expats. Moving back to Kansas City prompted a number of moments when it became clear to us that our children were indeed TCKs. My son once asked me “what time does the Super Bowl match start?” My daughter to this day still prefers the British spelling of savo(u)r and neighbo(u)r and refuses to change. This could also be explained by her stubbornness, but that’s for another post.

Beyond simple differences in vocabulary, there is a deep connection amongst children who have had the experience of living abroad, even when the countries of origin and residence differ. We have seen this firsthand as we are fortunate enough to live next door to another TCK who is European by birth but has lived for many years in Asia, and now is in the U.S. Additionally, my kids stay in touch with their friends from London who now live in Myanmar. Listening to their conversations is something to behold. They can seamlessly discuss flavored Kit-Kats from Japan, their favo(u)rite Indian meal, getting carsick driving through the Alps, and how to get their Nintendo Switches to connect to each other while in Cambodia.

But what amazes me the most is their unflinching ability to take pieces from different cultures that work for them while leaving the rest behind. They’re willing to say that something is “different," but rarely that it is “weird.” By not making an immediate value judgment, nothing for them is above being questioned. Put another way, there is an unwillingness to accept that “this is the way it’s always been done.” When they’ve experienced life in different parts of the world, changing the way things are done at home—wherever that home may be for the moment—isn’t nearly as scary.for them is above being questioned. Put another way, there is an unwillingness to accept that “this is the way it’s always been done.” When they’ve experienced life in different parts of the world, changing the way things are done at home—wherever that home may be for the moment—isn’t nearly as scary.

In that sense, we can all learn something from Third Culture Kids.

                                 

About the Author
Aaron Mann is the Senior Attorney for Litigation with Terracon Consultants in Olathe, Kansas. He is an IRC Board Member and cannot fathom coming home from a trip without knowing where he’s going to next.

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Taiwan’s 2020 Presidential Elections

Posted By IRC, Monday, August 5, 2019
Updated: Friday, August 2, 2019

Since 1949, Taiwan has been allowed to be governed independently from mainland China under the assumption that Taiwan is part of China and they will not seek independence as stipulated under the ‘One-China’ policy. However, the current Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen, and her party, the Democratic Progressive Party, have sought to distance Taiwan from the mainland, which has caused tensions between Taipei and Beijing. In recent years, Beijing has taken a stronger stance towards maintaining the ‘One-China’ policy through a number of strategies, including performing military drills in the Taiwan Strait to show they will take Taiwan by force if necessary (https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/china-taiwan-relations).


The next presidential election is set for January 2020 with Tsai Ing-wen running for re-election. Han Kuo-yu, the mayor of Kaohsiung and member of the opposition party, Kuomintang, has also entered the race and, unlike Tsai Ing-Wen, he advocates for closer ties to China. He appeals to the older generation who have stronger ties to the mainland and wish for unification. However, he first has to beat the other potential nominees, Terry Gou, a billionaire whose company manufactures iPhones, and Eric Chu, the former mayor of New Taipei City. But, if Han Kuo-yu is elected, this could indicate a shift in Taiwan-China relations (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/06/world/asia/taiwan-han-president.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FTaiwan&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=collection). 


Taiwan is divided on its stance towards China. Some want to fully unify with China, most want to maintain the status quo, and some want full independence. The older generations feel a closer connection to the mainland, while the younger generations have developed a unique Taiwanese identity that separates them from China. During the summer of 2017, I had the opportunity to talk to Taiwanese college students to hear their opinions. While the majority of Taiwan is ethnically Han Chinese, many identify as Taiwanese and are increasingly seeking independence and voting for politicians who share their views. 


The outcome of this election and future elections could have many implications for the relationship between China and Taiwan. China is unlikely to relinquish its strict stance in the near future. While the population of people who want independence is still relatively small, if the trend of young people pushing for independence continues, tensions could flare up that would not only affect Taiwan and China but could have broader effects on the rest of the world.

                                               

 

About the Author
Grace Price is a senior studying Chinese and Global and International Studies with a minor in Political Science at the University of Kansas. She served as a summer 2019 Global Education Intern at the IRC.

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Member Spotlight: Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation

Posted By IRC, Monday, July 29, 2019

Friendship is the core of the Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation. Founded in 1974, the Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation has focused on building and maintaining cultural relationships with citizens of the United States and China. Inspired by Kansas City native Edgar Snow, the foundation aims to maintain a healthy relationship with the city of Yan’an. Edgar Snow was a University of Missouri journalist student who is believed to be the first western journalist to interview Mao Zedong and who published a book that has never been out of print since its publication in 1937, Red Star Over China.

 

Jim McKusick is the current president of the Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation. He chairs the meetings and is an executive officer, however he emphasized that the “board works as a team” and that they maintain strong partnerships with organizations in China.

 

A major event for the foundation is the Edgar Snow Symposium, which has an emphasis on cultural exchange. It is hosted every two years, alternating locations between Yan’an and Kansas City. This event will attract a delegation from China, roughly 2,000 people from across the Kansas City area as well as Chinese representatives from DC. In 2018, the foundation sold out the Kauffman Center for one of the symposium events that focused on traditional Chinese music and dance. The City Council of KCMO published a proclamation to acknowledge the work of Edgar Snow Foundation for the 2018 symposium. It was a great success and there will be another symposium in China in 2020 with a visiting delegation from the Kansas City area. 


The foundation works very closely with the Kansas City Chinese Association and the Kansas City Chinese American Association in order to promote Chinese heritage and culture. Jim explained that people will often tell him that in the current political climate it should be difficult to maintain people-to-people exchange because of diplomatic relations between the United States and China. But he emphasized that this is the best time to sustain an everyday, cultural relationship. The relationship formed with Chinese people now is the infrastructure for future relations. While diplomatic relations are important, a true relationship between nations relies on people-to-people relationships and the cultures they exchange in order to promote a better understanding of each other.

 

                                               

The IRC spotlights our members and their diverse work and interests in the international space. To learn more or to indicate interest in being spotlighted in an upcoming post, please visit: http://www.irckc.org/page/MemberSpotlight.

 


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Tensions in Middle East Slow Some Arms Exports

Posted By IRC, Monday, July 22, 2019

Conflicts such as the Yemeni Civil War and the conflict in Syria have had massive ramifications for major arms manufacturers around the world, in some countries more than others. Germany particularly has faced widespread criticism from its own citizens over military equipment being sold to the Saudi government or other Middle Eastern powers engaged in controversial conflicts. But Germany, who represents the fifth spot internationally in terms of total arms manufacturing and exportation (washingtonpost.com), is not the universal model for all countries exporting large amounts of military grade equipment. Their attempt to freeze sales to countries involved in the Yemeni conflict is more of an outlier than the norm.

In fact, the United States, who sold three times as many weapons to Turkey between 1950 and 2016 (washingtonpost.com) and is the largest supplier of weapons to the Saudis, is not showing any signs of significantly slowing that trade, even in the face of souring relations between the various countries. What does this mean for the region as well as the world as a whole? Well for starters, it further complicates the conflicts and more than likely ensures they will continue longer than would have occurred without military sales from the West. Yet, trying to discern whether these impactful sales are going to the good or bad side of a conflict is also not typically a major consideration for the arms manufacturers themselves. They are companies just like any other and desire to make a profit.

According to the Hans-Boeckler Foundation in Germany, the arms industry in that country alone employs roughly 55,000 individuals and the economic impact on Germany’s GDP is similarly enormous. United States foreign policy has long included the ability for American arms manufacturers to sell their weapons abroad if the government determined it to be appropriate. Where this becomes a more complicated issue deals with the fact that many of these conflicts in the Middle East are not one, two, or even three-sided. For example, the United States sells weapons to Turkey, which they in turn use to oppose the Kurdish party PKK, a party that has been determined as a terrorist group by Turkey and the United States. But the United States government also recognizes the value of the PKK as a force to fight against ISIL. (washingtonpost.com).

Here we can see the difficulty in how arms exports, despite being such a lucrative industry, has ramifications for both the exporter and the importer. Responsible sale of military grade equipment is certainly something to strive for, but partisan disagreement and the economic benefits of such sales will likely continue the issue for the foreseeable future. For some governments in the Middle East this may spell greater security, for others it may bring longer and more devastating conflicts.

                                                          

About the Author
Peter Gaar is a student at the University of Kansas pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Global and International Studies. He currently serves as a summer 2019 community intern for the IRC.

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Member Spotlight: KC Creates

Posted By IRC, Friday, July 12, 2019

Kansas City Creates or KC Creates is a nonprofit organization that offers programming to support and celebrate arts and artists in Kansas City through artistic expression. Through strategic partnerships, KC creates offers live performing and visual arts events that go into the public and private cultural landscape of Kansas City with the mission “to empower a diverse array of educational and cultural events to inspire creativity and build bonds among audiences, artists, businesses, and civic organizations.” KC Creates has become more than just an organization providing opportunities for emerging and established artists and has created an inclusive arts community here in Kansas City.

KC Creates hosts KC Fringe, which is an international festival. KC Fringe stands as one of 40 Festivals held in the United States and over 200 worldwide, sharing the same universal principle, freedom of expression. KC Fringe is focused on highlighting the emerging artists in Kansas City and sold 24,000 tickets last year. This year, the Fringe festival runs July 14 through July 28.

On the horizon for KC Creates is a new event called Open Spaces KC. Open Spaces KC aims to bring established international artist to Kansas City to exhibit their talent. This program is set in place to help build and develop the international component for KC Creates and Kansas City as a whole. Open Spaces is a ten-week season which offers a rich experience of music, dance, and theater with a series of evening performances at selected venues all over Kansas City.

One challenge KC Creates is facing is that of emerging artists obtaining work visas. This is very challenging and cost prohibitive, but crucial to reach the full mission of KC Creates that relies on the international community sharing their talents with the Kansas City community.

KC Creates works with the IRC to help build its international connections. KC Creates is looking to build relationships, gain commonality, and find sponsors to bridge the gap between Kansas City and the international community. KC Creates is heavily dependent on volunteers and is always on the lookout for more. For more information, visit their website at, https://kccreates.org or email Cheryl Kimmi at ckimmi@kccreates.org.

                                            

The IRC spotlights our members and their diverse work and interests in the international space. To learn more or to indicate interest in being spotlighted in an upcoming post, please visit: http://www.irckc.org/page/MemberSpotlight.

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Holding Strong Political Views and Working for an Apolitical Non-Profit

Posted By IRC, Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Apolitical. Neutral. Non-partisan. When I first realized the apolitical aspect of the International Relations Council, I thought that it must be entirely possible to separate my political opinions from the work I would do. I was supposed to be educating people about international relations—politics didn’t have to be part of it. As it turned out, it was more difficult than I could have imagined. I found it incredibly difficult to take a program and remove any hint of political angle.

 

I never considered myself an activist. Never once in my life. Oh, I have plenty of opinions, don’t get me wrong. I can’t share them because this is an apolitical, neutral, non-partisan blog, but ask me about my research on my off-hours, and I will be more than happy to discuss what I believe. A political scientist for the first four years of my education and a student of international relations after that, I hold definitive beliefs. But I was never an activist; I was a scholar, a writer, an academic, a researcher. I wasn’t out raising money to donate to a cause, I wasn’t waiving signs in protest of an upcoming congressional bill, and I wasn’t holding rallies in support of one political candidate or another. I don’t like arguments, which usually means I keep my political opinions to myself. All I want to do, all I have ever wanted to do, is help people. I just want to make people happy, make their lives easier. I don’t want to stand out in the streets and protest, I don’t want to go down in history, I just want to help people who need it. How is that political?

 

But what I found is that a “political opinion” is not solely an opinion that says, “I am a Republican,” or “I am a Democrat.” A political opinion is anything that takes a clear stand in regard to anything political; the words “Republican” or “Democrat” don’t ever have to appear to make something political. The middle line, a beige line where there was no hint of blue or red, is what the IRC asked me to walk. That balancing act proved more challenging than I could have imagined.

 

Now, I’m your typical 22-year-old; straight out of university, fired up, and ready to change the world. The thing about us 22-year olds is that, well, we’re 22, and it can be really hard to get people to listen to us. Balance can be really hard for us. We have our opinions and beliefs and attitudes, and we’re ready to stand for them. We can be really intense, and that can be a turn off for a lot of people. It can push people away. Hellfire and ice don’t change minds. They may start movements, but without the right balance, the movements can fizzle out and be forgotten.

 

I am all about making the world a better place, and I want to raise awareness for certain issues and help people. My first few days as an IRC intern, I came in and I was all, “Let’s talk about the Arab-Israeli war, let’s talk about historic intervention in South America, let’s talk about representation.” I wanted to talk about the things that needed change. When Matthew Hughes, the Executive Director of the IRC, reviewed my ideas for IRC projects, he quickly, and in my case, repeatedly, explained the importance of the apolitical, non-partisan aspect of the IRC. And I couldn’t stand it. I took no issue with Matthew or the mission of the IRC; I just believed that it was our responsibility as an organization to be a torchbearer and to lead the way to positive change.

 

I will tell you, however, that I understand why Matthew places such a high level of importance on the apolitical, nonpartisan aspect of the IRC. The IRC includes a wide variety of viewpoints. It doesn’t leave anyone feeling excluded by choosing a political stance that is different from theirs. The IRC provides a platform for discussion, a safe place where people can comfortably express their own opinions. Society today needs that. In a world where having an agenda is taboo because it implies that a person is incapable of considering other viewpoints, people need to know that there are places they can be honest about what they believe without being ostracized or shut down. Places that do not have agendas, places that are open forums.

 

"Agenda" is not a four-letter word. Everyone has agendas. I have an agenda. I have lots of agendas. So do you. Having an agenda doesn’t say anything about you other than that you have something you care about. Agendas don’t have to be political. You can have an agenda about how you think your children should fold the laundry, or regarding how your parents should set later curfews. Agendas are just what a person believes should happen, and it is their plan to make those beliefs reality.

 

I believe in taking a stand. I believe it is my job, in the long run, to take a clear stand and say, “I don’t believe this is right.” But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in the IRC. I wouldn’t have been kept on as an intern if I didn’t. I believe Matthew is right. There are other organizations that take those stands, that make those statements, that have politically agenda-oriented programs. That is what I want to do with my career. But society does not have a lot of educationally agenda-oriented organizations, like the IRC. And that is why I have chosen to stay as an intern, even if there are some things with which I struggle to come to terms; I believe there is a need in society for programs like the IRC, even if such a program is what I want to do long-term.

 

The IRC is making a difference. It is saying that discussions are okay. It is saying that opinions are okay. It is saying that openly stating beliefs, holding beliefs that aren’t “mainstream,” and listening to the beliefs of others is okay. And society needs that. The IRC is changing how Kansas City looks at international relations, and how people look at the beliefs of others.

 

About the Author
Abigail Phillips is a Global and International Studies master’s candidate at the University of Kansas where she studies the Middle East, representation, and political discourse. She currently serves as a summer 2019 events intern for the IRC.

 

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Member Spotlight: GKC People to People

Posted By IRC, Monday, July 1, 2019
Updated: Friday, June 28, 2019

President Eisenhower’s idea of achieving peace through understanding was the principle behind People to People International (PTPI). PTPI was founded on September 11, 1956 under the U.S. Information Agency as a personal diplomacy program, operating under three main principles: humanitarian work, cultural exchange, and global education. The idea of achieving peace without government interference, but rather with everyday citizens, was the foundation. As the president of Greater Kansas City People to People, Zahid Awan put it, “You cannot bring the peace without direct relationships with the people, like students to students, doctors to doctors, army officers to army officers, people to people.” On October 31, 1961, PTPI was taken into the private sector as a not-for-profit organization in Kansas City, Missouri, moving the headquarters from Washington, DC.

PTPI is the mother organization to Greater Kansas City People to People (GKCPTP). It is now one of more than 200 chapters located throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the United States. GKCPTP citizen ambassadors have a mission to promote international understanding by building bridges and establishing connections. One program GKCPTP is involved in is the International Military Student Sponsorship program with Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, a U.S. Army installation, invites a group of international military students from allied nations to participate in a 12-month training program. Each foreign officer and their family is assigned three sponsors, one being an officer from GKCPTP. These officers offer hospitality, comfort, and make Kansas City feel like home while building a mutually beneficial relationship.

GKCPTP and International Relations Council share similar objectives of building global awareness and education in Kansas City. GKCPTP’s ongoing vision is to expand by getting more individuals, schools, and universities involved in the organization. “I see great success in opportunities and good things ahead for this organization,” said Zahid Awan.

You can get involved with Greater Kansas City People to People by becoming a member, sponsoring an officer, or donating on their website: https://www.gkcptp.org/.

                                                        

 

The IRC spotlights our members and their diverse work and interests in the international space. To learn more or to indicate interest in being spotlighted in an upcoming post, please visit: http://www.irckc.org/page/MemberSpotlight.

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