News & Press: Blog Articles

August 2, 2017: Progress in the Past Presidents' Challenge

Wednesday, August 2, 2017  
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Dear friends,

We're looking forward to tonight's (August 2) networking hour with Commerce Bank. If you haven't registered, there's still time, or you are welcome to register at the door. The information you need is here ».

Thanks to your generosity, our Past Presidents' Challenge has raised nearly $1,500 of our $10,000 goal – a great start! If you haven't already done so, we invite you to check out our midyear update » and consider helping us reach our goal by the end of August.

Our summer interns are getting ready to head back to school, and they take with them our best wishes and warmest gratitude. Many thanks to Luigi, Avery, Peter, Jake, Liz, John, Audun, Annelissa, and Lora for their hard work! Our fall interns will be with us in a few weeks; we'll make sure to introduce them to you here.

Sponsorships are still available for the 2017 Global Honors Evening and are a great way to reach a large audience that cares about Kansas City's international connections. Click here » for more information. Registration for individual tickets will open September 1.

You may know that the IRC is part of a nationwide network – the World Affairs Councils of America. WACA is filling out its schedule for the national conference in November in Washington, D.C., and we'd like to invite you to attend. This year's theme is "The Future of American Leadership." You can find more information here ». If you decide to go, please do let Matthew know.

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 America first/diplomacy last, deterring North Korea, Africa's elections, Pakistan's politics, Venezuela's challenges, and Russia's striking back. Read more here »

Learn about China going green this week on the IRC's World Citizen Blog ».

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!


Registration Open
IRC Networking Hour – Wednesday, August 2 – 5-6:30 p.m. – Commerce Bank
The IRC is continuing our series of networking hours to give IRC members and friends the chance to get to know each other and the work of the IRC's organizational partners. Next up is Commerce Bank, a Kansas City institution since 1865 and one of the IRC's most tenured community partners. All are invited, but registration is requested. We hope you'll join us! Read more and register »

IRC Member Benefit
Cover to Cover: James Kirchick – Thursday, August 10 – 1-1:30 p.m. – conference call
Once the world's bastion of liberal, democratic values, Europe is now having to confront demons it thought it had laid to rest. August's Cover to Cover will feature James Kirchick on his new book, The End of Europe: Dictators Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age », onThursday, August 10. Based on extensive firsthand reporting, this book is a provocative, disturbing look at a continent in unexpected crisis. The IRC is pleased to make this opportunity available to IRC members. To register, please e-mail Matthew ».

Program Full
Global Experience: Introductions – Tuesday, August 15 – 7-8:30 p.m. – Thai House Restaurant (south KC)
What's your global story? Do you get the chance to share it? Please join us for the first installment of our new Global Experience series, where we give members the chance to tell their global story and experience the international connections all around us in Kansas City. We'll be meeting for dinner and conversation at Thai House Restaurant in south Kansas City. This event is admission-free and open to the public, but attendees will pay for their own meals. We hope to see you there! Registration is full, but stay tuned for future opportunities. Read more and register »

Save the Date
IRC Book ClubThe Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce – Tuesday, September 12 – 6:30-8 p.m. – Kauffman Foundation
The next meeting of the IRC Book Club will be on Tuesday, September 12. Professor Tom Patterson from Johnson County Community College will facilitate a discussion on Edward Luce's book, The Retreat of Western Liberalism. All are welcome to attend this free program. More information, including registration, will be available soon.

IRC Member Benefit
Cover to Cover: Richard McGregor – Thursday, September 5 – 1-1:30 p.m. – conference call
Geopolitical cracks are widening in a region that has flourished under an American security umbrella for more than half a century. The toxic rivalry between China and Japan is threatening to upend the peace underwritten by Pax Americana since World War II. September's Cover to Cover will feature Richard McGregor on his new book, Asia's Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power », on Tuesday, September 5. Richard McGregor's book takes us behind the headlines of his reporting as the Financial Times Beijing and Washington bureau chief to show how American power will fare in Asia. To register, please e-mail Matthew ».

Sponsorships Available
2017 Global Honors Evening – Thursday, November 9 – 6-9 p.m. – The Gallery Event Space (Power & Light District)
Please save the date and join the IRC on Thursday, November 9, as we celebrate international statesmanship and Kansas City's connections to the global community at our 2017 Global Honors Evening. The celebration will include cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and dessert, live entertainment, special recognitions, and the chance to meet some of Kansas City's most notable and beloved global citizens. Individual registrations will open September 1, but sponsorships are available now. Read more or register as a sponsor »

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 2017 include the Future of Europe, Trade and Politics, Conflict in the South China Sea, Saudi Arabia in Transition, U.S. Foreign Policy and Petroleum, Latin America’s Political Pendulum, Prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Nuclear Security.

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.

Annual Eid Celebration », presented by the Crescent Peace Society
Sunday, August 13 – 5-10 p.m. – Marriott Overland Park

Ethnic Enrichment Festival », presented by the Ethnic Enrichment Commission
August 18-20 – Swope Park

Women's Equality Week
August 20-26 – various events around Kansas City

KU School of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures Convocation »
Friday, September 1 – 3:30-6 p.m. – Kansas Union Ballroom (KU)

World Visions Art Show Reception », presented by Sister City Association of Kansas City
Friday, September 1 – 6-9 p.m. – Buttonwood Art Gallery

Midwest Tea Festival »
Saturday and Sunday, September 9-10 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Ararat Shrine Temple

Pictures of the Year International », presented by the KC Public Library
On display July 15 to September 10 – Central Library

Global Insight Series: Latin America », presented by Unbound
Wednesday, September 13 – 5:30-7 p.m. – Unbound (KCK)

2017 Celebration of International Friendship », presented by the CGSC Foundation
Friday, September 29 – 7 p.m. – Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Ambassador Samantha Power in Kansas City », presented by the Women's Foundation
Tuesday, October 3 – 4-6 p.m. – Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Symposium: Remembering Muted Voices: Conscience, Dissent, Resistance, and Civil Liberties in World War I through Today »
Thursday to Sunday, October 19-22 – National World War I Museum

Kansas International Film Festival »
November 3-9

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.

Promote the IRC at the Ethnic Enrichment Festival – Swope Park – August 18-20
On August 18-20, the IRC will have a booth at the Ethnic Enrichment Festival » at Swope Park. We are looking for volunteers to help us share about the work we do throughout the year. If you are interested in promoting the IRC and receiving free admission to this Kansas City tradition, please sign up here ».

Looking for Host Families for International Students
Education, Travel, and Culture is a non-profit organization that looks to place high school international students with host families. This opportunity is unpaid, but it is a great way for you to give back to students from all over the world, and get to know a different culture. We are looking for hosts for the upcoming school year, 2017-2018, but the students stay for either a semester or a full year, the families chose which they would prefer.  We do have a Facebook group that they can request to join which I give updates and information for those potentially interested: The only requirements that we ask of is to provide 3 meals a day, a room for them to stay in with a bed, which can be shared with someone of the same gender within 5 years of an age difference, and go through our process of apply to become a host family. If anyone would be interested you can give them my e-mail address and I would be more than happy to help them with any questions they may have. Contact: Keli Myracle, Local Coordinator »