News & Press: Newsletters

April 4, 2018: Democracy and the Mexican and U.S. Electoral Systems on April 16

Wednesday, April 4, 2018  
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Dear friends,

We always feel privileged to welcome members of the diplomatic corps to Kansas City, and tonight's program at Park University with Ambassador Patrick Moon, former U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, was no exception. Ambassador Moon offered insight into current realities around NATO–Russia relations and answered questions from the audience of professors, students, and interested community members. Thanks to our friends at Park and the Simons Center at Fort Leavenworth for making this event possible.

Tomorrow evening we'll be at UMKC for WorldQuest. Competing teams should have received an update with some final information. Get ready for great prizes, stiff competition, and lots of fun, all while supporting the IRC's efforts in global education. As we've finalized the seating chart, we've found a few single seats still available, so it's not too late if you and a friend would like to attend – just let April know » as soon as possible. Big thanks to Natalie Gilkison and everyone at UMKC for their help in organizing this much-loved event.

We have an exciting volunteer opportunity coming up on Saturday, April 14, when the IRC will have a booth at the Wyandotte County Ethnic Festival at KCK Community College. If you're interested in sharing an hour our two of your time, please let Matthew know ». As always, your gift of time is sincerely appreciated.

Lathrop Gage is looking forward to host our upcoming discussion on democracy and the Mexican and U.S. electoral systems on Monday, April 16. You won't want to miss the networking, Mexican treats, the substantive conversation, or the view of downtown Kansas City. Tickets are available on our website ». Please do share this opportunity with other individuals and groups who might be interested.

Many thanks to those individuals and organizations who have recently renewed their membership with the IRC. If your membership has lapsed, or if you'd like to check the status of your membership, please send Matthew a note »; we'll be happy help. Members enjoy discounted or free admission to programs, special chances to interact with distinguished visitors, and the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to raising a global perspective in Kansas City.

Thank you for being a part of this remarkable community. We couldn't do this work without you.

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. We don't have an update to share this week; please check back next week.

This week, the IRC's World Citizen Blog reviews international metrics and data »
. 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.

Created to elevate youth voices in the global policy dialogue, the U.S. Youth Observer to the UN is a role appointed annually by the U.S. Department of State and UN Association of the USA. For a one-year term, an American between the ages of 18-25 is selected to engage young people in the U.S. in the work of the United Nations and international issues. As a correspondent between U.S. missions to the UN and American youth, the Youth Observer travels throughout the United States to discover the issues important to young Americans and participates at international organization meetings. The most critical role of the Youth Observer is to engage young Americans in the work of the UN, empowering them to be active participants in dialogue on international issues and to have a global impact. The Youth Observer will travel to high schools and colleges across the nation to build a connection between the UN and young Americans. Apply here » by Sunday, April 29.

The word Sabla in Omani Arabic dialect refers to places in communities where people gather to receive hospitality. Sabla also serves as a meeting place to discuss important public issues. The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center's Sabla Program is an intensive summer language program designed to benefit current university-level students and recent graduates. The program emphasized the instruction of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The program runs for five weeks, offering highly intensive coursework in Arabic. Scholarships are available. Apply by May 6, 2018Read more »

The American Australian Association offers small grants through its Dame Joan Sutherland Fund for aspiring American and Australian artists who show great talent in the fields of theater, fashion, dance, film and television, music, literary arts, visual arts, crafts, and design. Applications due Monday, April 30Read more »

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!


Last Call: A Few Individual Seats Remaining
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 » 
A very limited number of seats remain. To inquire about available seats, please contact Matthew ».

Free Program
Global Experience: Big Sonia Screening and Discussion
 – Monday, April 9 – 6-8:15 p.m. – Park University
The IRC's Global Experience series asks, "What's your global story? Do you have the chance to share it?" Join Park University, the National Archives, and the IRC onMonday, April 9, as we explore the story of 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski – great-grandmother, businesswoman, and Holocaust survivor – who has deep ties to Kansas City. This program, in which we'll view and discuss the film, is free and open to the public. Registration is requested to help with planning. Read more and register »

Registration Open
Democracy and the Mexican and U.S. Electoral Systems – Monday, April 16 – 5:30-8 p.m. – Lathrop Gage
This program will offer insight into the workings of the Mexican and U.S. electoral systems from two experts – Head Consul Alfonso Navarro of the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City and University of Central Missouri Associate Professor Robynn Kuhlmann. Their presentations will show how each country's electoral system is an essential arm of its deeply held democratic values while also highlighting key similarities and differences between the systems. Audience questions will be encouraged in the Q&A session that will end the evening.Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available. This program is presented by the IRC in conjunction with the Mexican Consulate in Kansas City and our friends at Lathrop Gage. Read more and register »

Registration Open
The Opportunities and Challenges of Chinese Investment in the U.S.: A Public Forum – Thursday, May 24 – 11:30-1 p.m. – KC Chamber Board Room, Union Station
Join us to learn about the practical opportunities and challenges of inbound foreign direct investment from China from the perspective of local communities and business partners, and Chinese investors themselves. Panelists will comment on the U.S. business environment and discuss trends in Chinese investment, as well as opportunities foreign investment offers the Greater Kansas City region. This event is open to the public and lunch will be served. Registration link available below. 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.

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.

What Every American Should Know About Islam: Debunking Myths », presented by the Islamic Center of Lawrence
Thursday, April 5 – 5:30-8 p.m. – The Forum, KU Burge Union

Saudi Arabia Culture Day », presented by the Saudi Student Association at KU
Saturday, April 7 – 12-5 p.m. – KU Carnegie Building

Northland Ethnic Festival »
Saturday, April 7 – 11-3:30 p.m. – Park Hill High School  

Preference for Populist Politicians in Turkey, presented by the University of Kansas
Tuesday, April 10 – 4 p.m. – KU Jayhawk Room, Kansas Union

Webinar: Opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa», presented by the Fulbright Scholar Program
Wednesday, April – 11 1-2 p.m.

13th Annual Dialogue & Friendship Dinner », presented by the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest
Wednesday, April 11 – 6-8:30 p.m. – UMKC Student Union

The Myth of the Free French », presented by Kansas City Libraries
Thursday, April 12 – 6:00 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. program – Central Library

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

25th Anniversary Gala », presented by Heart to Heart International
Saturday, April 14 – 6-11 p.m. – Sheraton Overland Park Hotel

Passport to India Festival », presented by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Sunday, April 15 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Happy Hour Community Event», presented by Global Ties KC
Tuesday, April 17 – 5-7 p.m. – Nick and Jake's

Cesar Chavez Lecture Series », presented by UMKC
Tuesday, April 17 – 6 p.m. – Atterbury Student Success Center, Pierson Auditorium

Comida KC: A World Tour of Latin Flavors », presented by the GKC Hispanic Collaborative
Thursday, April 26 – Union Station

2018 Diplomatic Ball », presented by the Ethnic Enrichment Commission
Saturday, April 28 – Sheraton Crown Center

Global Table », presented by JVS
Sunday, April 29 – 6-8 p.m. – Oakwood Country Club

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

Cinco de Mayo Concert and Fiesta », presented by Guadalupe Centers
Friday and Saturday, May 4-5 – Guadalupe Centers

Cinco de Mayo 5-Qué », presented by Cinco de Mayo 5-Qué and Raceday Events
Saturday, May 5 – 10-1 p.m. – Guadalupe Centers

Children Should Not Fight Wars », presented by the UNA of Greater KC
Tuesday, May 8 – 6:30-8 p.m. – Central Library

Latino Arts Festival », presented by Kansas City Kansas Latino Arts Festival
Saturday, September 22 – 1-6 p.m. – Lot in front of 520 Minnesota Avenue

Taste of Portugal »
Friday,  November 9 – 7-10 p.m. – The Culinary Center of 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.

Volunteers Wanted for Comida 2018
Each year, the dazzling Comida event showcases a variety of Latin dance, music, and culinary arts as a fundraiser for educational, civic, and business development programs offered by the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Collaborative. Volunteers make the event possible and are needed this year for areas such as setup, registration, liaising with attending restaurants, and cleanup. Comida 2018 will be held the evening of Thursday, April 26, at Union Station; volunteer shifts are available throughout the day. (Registration volunteers will need to attend a training at the Oak Park Mall Microsoft Store on Tuesday, April 17, from 6-7:30 p.m.) Volunteers age 21+ preferred; cocktail attire. Specific responsibilities, requirements, and volunteers opportunities can be viewed here ». Once their shift is finished, volunteers will be invited to attend the event. With any questions or interest from groups, please contact Edgar at

Volunteers Wanted for Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
Our Cinco de Mayo Fiesta is the original celebration of its kind in the Westside of KCMO. Growing in popularity, this year's celebration will be filled with attractions for the whole family, great authentic Mexican food, live entertainment to include a Mariachi band and folkloric dancers, local vendors, face painting, a 5K run/walk and kid's run, petting zoo, inflatables, contests and raffles and much more. Please contact Pat Munoz at to sign up to help!

The American Councils Seeks Host Families for Exchange Students
The American Councils is looking for caring host families for merit-based scholar exchange students for the 2018-19 school year. These students come from the Middle East, Central Asia, S.E. Asia, some African nations, and eastern and southeast Europe. Of all the students who apply for the programs, some 3% are accepted to come to the U.S. Students receive a stipend of $125/month for personal expenses, and host families are reimbursed up to $300 for school related expenses, including winter clothes. Interested families are invited to contact Don Marsolek, Local Coordinator, American Coun cils and FPA member at happyforwandering@gmail.­com, or 913-558-5791.

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 in Action: once a week for two hours, meet with a single mentee to help them improve their English speaking skills as their Conversation Mentor. This program occurs at library locations of the participants’ choice.
  • 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

To learn more, please visit the RISE website or email the team.

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