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November 29, 2017: Events to Finish the Year

Wednesday, November 29, 2017  
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Dear friends,

Between now and the end of the year, we have a few engaging events, and we hope to see you at one or more!

  • A Rainy Day Books author talk with Khizr Khan on Thursday, November 30Read more and register »
  • NATO: Truman to Trump – a free American Public Square program at the Truman Library on Wednesday, December 6Read more and register »
  • "Practical Peacebuilding for National Security" with Ambassador Bill Taylor on Tuesday, December 12 – a free evening program at the Plaza branch of the KC Public Library. Read more and register »

We invite high-school students and teachers who have not already registered for the 2018 Academic WorldQuest competition to find more information here »and register for the February tournament. Registration will be closing in December.

Soon we'll be announcing programs for the beginning of 2018, so do stay tuned. Thank you for your continued interest in all that's going on around the world and how it connects to our community here in Kansas City.

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. There is no digest this week as the WACA office is closed for Thanksgiving.

We don't have a new blog post this week, but we invite you to check out past blog posts you might have missed here ». If you are interested in contributing a blog post, please review some frequently asked questions », where you'll also find out how to submit your post.

Experience a new world and expand your horizons – study abroad in high school! The U.S. Department of State offers full scholarships to high school students to study abroad for one academic year. Create long-lasting friendships with people around the globe, promote mutual understanding, learn a new language, and develop leadership skills. Find out more at the U.S. Dept. of State high school study abroad webpage ».  Deadlines for the three programs are as follows: 
1. Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) with Germany, deadline is December 11, 2017
2. Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad (YES Abroad), deadline is December 5, 2017
3. National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), deadline is November 2, 2017.


Global and Multicultural Education, a Kansas City nonprofit organization, seeks nominations for its annual Peace Builder Awards. Nominations should be submitted no later than Sunday, December 10Read more and nominate »

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
Rainy Day Books Author Talk: Khizr Khan – Thursday, November 30 – 7 p.m. – Unity Temple on the Plaza
Khizr Khan will present his new hardcover, An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice. A book signing will follow the presentation; a stamped admission ticket is required for the book signing. The ticket price of $27 plus Kansas sales tax includes an autographed hardcover, one admission ticket, and one guest admission ticket, if needed. This event is co-presented by Rainy Day Books and the IRC. Read more and register »

Registration Open
NATO: Truman to Trump – Wednesday, December 6 – 6:30-9 p.m. – Truman Library (Independence)
What is NATO’s role in the post-Cold War era? What are the United States’ obligations vis-a-vis other NATO members? Should NATO membership continue to expand? Is NATO up to the challenges of 21st-century security? The IRC is proud to sponsor this American Public Square program. The event is free and open to the public, though registration is required. Read more and register »

Free Event
Ambassador Bill Taylor: Practical Peacebuilding for National Security – Tuesday, December 12 – 6-8 p.m. – Plaza Library
Please join us on Tuesday, December 12, as we welcome Ambassador Bill Taylor, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine and current executive VP of the U.S. Institute of Peace, to Kansas City at a conversation on how practical peacebuilding supports national security. A reception will precede the program. Thanks to generous support from USIP, the World Affairs Councils of America, and the KC Public Library, this program is free and open to the public, but registration is requested to help with planning. Read more and register »

IRC Member Benefit
Cover to Cover: Haroon Ullah – Thursday, December 14 – 1-1:30 p.m. – via conference call
In Digital World War », seasoned diplomat Haroon Ullah, with deep knowledge of Islamist politics and digital innovation, investigates the unprecedented impact of social media on the discourse of recent events in the Muslim World – from the Arab Spring and its aftermath to ISIS's online recruitment. While he identifies the roles of social media in these events and the use of the dark web, hacking, and digital attacks, he also reveals how political parties, corporations, and governments have learned to exploit digital tools to target and mobilize audiences, to ultimately achieve power and status. This call is offered as a benefit for IRC members and is provided by the World Affairs Councils of America. To check your membership status or register for the call, please contact Matthew ».

High-School Program
2018 Academic WorldQuest – Saturday, February 3 – 12-4 p.m. – KU Edwards Campus
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. Each year since 2006, the IRC has offered high-school students the chance to showcase their knowledge of world affairs, geography, history, and world events. Each area high school may enter one team of four students plus a faculty sponsor. Participation is entirely cost-free for schools. The winning team will receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the students and their sponsor to participate in the national Academic WorldQuest competition in late April. The 2018 Kansas City–area tournament will be held on Saturday, February 3, at the KU Edwards Campus. 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: economic 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.

NAFTA 2.0: Negotiations and Beyond », presented by the World Trade Center Kansas City
Thursday, November 30 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – KC Chamber Board Room (Union Station)

Economic Outlook 2018 », presented by Institute for Supply Management–KC
Thursday, November 30 – 5:30-7:30 p.m. – Porto do Sul (Overland Park)

Harnessing a Global Workforce », presented by the KC Chamber
Wednesday, December 6 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – KC Chamber Board Room (Union Station)

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)

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

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.

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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