Good morning!

High school students around the Kansas City metro area are preparing to showcase their global knowledge in the annual Academic WorldQuest competition, this year on Saturday, March 5. As you are checking out upcoming opportunities for global engagement below, please do pass this information along to teachers and students who might be interested. The winning team will receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national competition in April.

We’re looking forward to seeing IRC members from Kansas City and beyond at next week’s IRC Town Hall! Do join us on Zoom the evening of Wednesday, January 26, to add your voice to the conversation.

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director • 816-897-6474

International News

The Latest from Around the Globe

China will no longer sell tickets to the Beijing Winter Olympics due to COVID-19
No tickets will be sold for the upcoming winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing due to the “grave and complicated situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Instead, organizers announced Monday that they would invite groups of spectators to attend the games in person.
Story from NPR News.

Satellite photos show aftermath of Abu Dhabi oil site attack
Satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press appear to show the aftermath of a fatal attack on an oil facility in the capital of the United Arab Emirates claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
Story from ABC News.

Germany could halt pipeline if Russia attacks Ukraine, Scholz signals
Germany may consider halting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia attacks Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz signalled on Tuesday, as pressure grew on his government to take a more hawkish stance on the Kremlin.
Story from Reuters.

Get Involved

Join a Roundtable

Perhaps you’ve lived in another part of the world, worked there, studied there, traveled there, or just have a general fascination. IRC members are warmly invited to join one or more IRC Roundtables – a chance to connect with other members, talk about current events in regions of interest to them, and help inform IRC programming. Roundtable members will be invited to a quarterly meeting and receive IRC event information and other updates relevant to the regions they select.

Roundtables are open to all members of the IRC, including individual/family members and individuals affiliated with IRC organizational members, like businesses, colleges/universities, and nonprofits. Roundtable membership is included in your IRC membership. Be as involved as your schedule allows, without worrying about whether you can make a meeting or meet a deadline. The point is to connect, explore, and engage. Click here to learn more.

If you’re not yet a member, or if you’re unsure, no problem – join here, or reach out!

IRC News

Limited Great Decisions Books Remain – Place Your Order Today

2022 Great Decisions briefing books and DVDs are now available for sale on the IRC website. We appreciate your help alerting group members and others who might be interested in participating in the coming year, and we remain so thankful for all you do to support civil conversations on issues of international importance through the year.

Sign Up

Upcoming Events

IRC Town Hall • Wednesday, January 26
We’ve cherished your involvement through an unpredictable year, and now we want to hear from you. Please join us on Zoom on Wednesday, January 26, from 6-7 p.m. Central time to meet the 2022 Executive Committee, hear plans for the year, and learn about meaningful ways you can get more involved with the International Relations Council in the months ahead. Bring your questions, your feedback on programming, and your ideas for what the IRC can do in 2022 to strengthen Kansas City’s global perspective. Click here to register.

Academic WorldQuest News & Views Series • February 3 – March 3
As part of the IRC’s News & Views Discussion Group, the AWQ mini-series will bring local high school students and their teachers into the international conversation. For each edition, based around 5 of the categories included in the upcoming Academic WorldQuest trivia competition, an expert discussion leader will lead all participants – students, IRC members, and members of the public, to study and think critically about each international topic.

International Film Club: Happy As Lazzaro • Tuesday, February 8
Click to watch film on Netflix. This is the tale of a meeting between Lazzaro, a young peasant so good that he is often mistaken for simple-minded, and Tancredi, a young nobleman cursed by his imagination. Life in their isolated pastoral village Inviolata is dominated by the terrible Marchesa Alfonsina de Luna, the queen of cigarettes. A loyal bond is sealed when Tancredi asks Lazzaro to help him orchestrate his own kidnapping. This strange and improbable alliance is a revelation for Lazzaro. A friendship so precious that it will travel in time and transport Lazzaro in search of Tancredi. His first time in the big city, Lazzaro is like a fragment of the past lost in the modern world. Click here to register.

IRC Community

Member News
  • Newly translated and adapted by UMKC professor and IRC Member Dr. Felicia Londré as part of the city-wide celebration, “KC MOlière: 400 in 2022,” The Pests follows the hilarious travails of a French nobleman desperately trying—in the face of continuous interruption—to be on time for a rendezvous with the object of his affection. Running January 12-30. Click here for more information.
  • The Command and General Staff College, an IRC Organizational Member, is continuing their Cold War Symposium is to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the end of the Cold War, to promote scholarship, and to recognize the contributions of those who participated in that global struggle, especially the United States and its allies in NATO. The symposium kicked off with an overview presentation on Nov. 9 and is being followed up with virtual presentations in a three-part series. Part 1: Setting the Stage for the End of the Cold War was conducted Dec. 14, 2021 (Watch the recording here: Cold War Symposium – YouTube).
  • On January 25, join the United States Heartland China Association, an IRC Organizational Member, The U.S.-China Business Council, and other partners in exploring “Why China Matters to the Heartland.” Learn how each Heartland state benefits from its relationship with China economically, educationally, and culturally. Click here to register.
  • Unbound, an IRC Organizational Member, is helping families in the Antipolo program in the Philippines as they recover from Typhoon Rai. As of last week, 240 families in the Unbound program have received financial assistance. To give extra support to those who need it most, visit
  • The English Speaking Union – Kansas City, an IRC Organizational Member, will be holding their Annual Meeting on Zoom on Saturday, February 5 at 12 p.m. CT. Click here for more information.
  • The performing application for the 2022 KC Fringe Festival, an IRC Organizational Member, is now open. The festival will be taking place July 17-31. Click here for more information.

Do you have news you’d like to share? Send us an email!

High School Teachers and students

Academic WorldQuest

High school students are invited to put their global knowledge to the test in the annual Academic WorldQuest competition, a flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America.

Quick Hits

From Our Friends
  • On February 1, the Santa Fe Council on International Relations will present The Invention of Power: Popes, Kings, and the Birth of the West – A book talk with Bruce Bueno de Mesquita. In partnership with the International Relations Council, the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations, and the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville. The discussion will be moderated by CIR’s Interim Executive Director, Jim Falk. Click here to register.
  • On February 19, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will present an international panel discussion featuring Angel Chang, Asian American designer of seed-to-button, zero carbon womenswear that is handmade by ethnic minority women artisans in Guizhou, China, Matsubara Nobuo, Japanese artist specializing in indigo and stencil-dyed textiles, and Hema Shroff Patel, Mumbai textile practitioner with the central Indian revival textile workshop, Amba; as they share their connections to Asian textile traditions. Click here to register.

A World of Art

Huun‐Huur‐Tu – Full Performance (Live on KEXP) 

Huun-Huur-Tu are a music group from Tuva, a Russian federative republic situated on the Mongolia–Russia border. Their music includes throat singing, in which the singers sing both a note and its overtones, thus producing two or three notes simultaneously.

International Relations Council
30 W Pershing Rd, Suite 201
Kansas City, MO 64108
816-897-6474 •