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April 11, 2018: WorldQuest Recap and Mexican Elections

Wednesday, April 11, 2018  
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Dear friends,

We so enjoyed seeing trivia lovers young and old at last week's WorldQuest at UMKC. Special thanks to our hosts, Mike Wood and Brian Ellison, for their fine questioning, and congratulations to our winning teams – Gertrude Ederle (first place), World Trade Center–Kansas City (second place), and KU International Programs (third place). The crowd was able to offer a fine sendoff to our winning Academic WorldQuest team from Blue Valley North, which later this month heads to DC for the national tournament, and generous individual donations at the event will go to support the IRC's global-education offerings, including Academic WorldQuest. Please do check out photos from the event », and be sure to tag yourself and your friends.

Tonight, IRC Academy-level members will be meeting over dinner with Mr. Gregory Gottlieb, director of the Feinstein International Center and recent acting assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance at USAID. We're pleased to be able to make opportunities like this one available to Academy-level members. To learn more about the IRC Academy and how you can participate in special events like this, kindly contact Matthew ».

The registration deadline is quickly approaching for Monday's program (April 16) on democracy and the Mexican and U.S. Electoral Systems. We'll have delicious Mexican food and drinks for you to enjoy while you learn about the voting process in both countries as they anticipate pivotal elections in 2018. Head Mexican Consul Alfonso Navarro and UCM Associate Professor Robynn Kuhlmann are ready to answer your questions, as well, so do come prepared. We hope to see you on Monday evening at Lathrop Gage! Read more and register »

Below you'll find other ways to get involved with the IRC and with the international community in Kansas City. If we can ever help as you connect with this incredible community, please don't hesitate to be in touch. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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 national security in the digital age, the chemical attack in Syria, U.S. vs. China, Hungary's move to the far right, and the 20th anniversary of the Good FridayAgreement. Read more »

This week, the IRC's World Citizen Blog discusses the value of international perspectives and how they can be gained right here in Kansas City
. 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.

The VISTA will serve the immigrant and opportunity youth populations of the Greater Kansas City Area by reviewing and assessing how the YMCA of GKC currently serves the target populations. The VISTA will also gather and assess data, identify and expand partnerships to engage immigrant communities in the YMCA of GKC, and provide analysis and information useful for grant and other funding applications. As a result of the VISTA's service, resources on breaking the cycle of poverty will be more readily available, and Y associates will have a greater ability to communicate those resources. Click here for more information »

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 Chance
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

IRC Member Benefit
Cover to Cover: Pakistan Under Siege – Wednesday, April 18– 1-1:30 p.m. – via conference call
Join the April Cover to Cover conference call to discuss Afzal's new book, Pakistan Under Siege: Extremism, Society, and the State
Over the last fifteen years, Pakistan has come to be defined exclusively in terms of its struggle with terror. But are ordinary Pakistanis extremists? And what explains how Pakistanis think? In Pakistan Under Siege, using rigorous analysis of survey data, in-depth interviews in schools and universities in Pakistan, historical narrative reporting, and her own intuitive understanding of the country, Madiha Afzal gives the full picture of Pakistan’s relationship with extremism. The IRC is pleased to be able to offer this opportunity as a benefit for IRC members. To check your membership status or register for the call, please contact Matthew .

IRC Member Benefit
KNOW NOW: Preventing International Conflict – Tuesday, April 24– 1-1:30 p.m. – via conference call
Violent conflict is a common thread that runs throughout history and across all cultures. It disrupts local, national, and international communities, and results in war, displacement, and death. One strategy to address violent conflict is through a public health approach. The Violence Prevention and Restoration (PAR) Model, developed by the International Center for Compassionate Organizations (ICCO) explains how violence begins, spreads, and infects others like a thought-borne pathogen or virus. Understanding the origins of violence may help prevent it. Join WAC Kentucky and Southern Indiana's Xiao Yin Zhao as she hosts Ari Cowan and Tony Belak, Director General and Associate Director of ICCO, to discuss how the proliferation of international conflict and violence can be prevented by utilizing the PAR Model. The IRC is pleased to be able to offer this opportunity as a benefit for IRC members. To check your membership status or register for the call, please contact Matthew .

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.

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

World Music and Dance Showcase »presented by Traditional Music Society
Saturday, April 14 – 2-4 p.m. – St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church ECLA

Dole Lecture: Ambassador Vlora Çitaku », presented by the Dole Institute
Sunday, April 15 – 4-5:30 p.m. – The Dole Institute

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

Community Yom Hashoah, presented by the Jewish Community Center
Sunday, April 15 – 1:30 p.m. – Lewis and Shirley White Theater, Jewish Community Campus

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

Pathways to Citizenship: Examining U.S. Immigration Policy », presented by the Dole Institute
Wednesday, April 18 – 7-8:30 p.m. – The Dole Institute

Pop Up at the Monument (1 of 2), presented by the Jewish Community Center
Thursday, April 19 – 1-1:30 p.m. – Jewish Community Campus

Whose Citizenship, Whose Security? », presented by KU Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Friday, April 20 – 3 p.m. – KU Marvin Hall

 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

Day of Remembrance: Remembering the Holocaust through Music,
Monday, April 30 – 6:30 p.m. – Metropolitan Community College, Maple Woods, Arbor Room (Campus Center Room 110)

 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

Pop Up at the Monument (2 of 2), presented by the Jewish Community Center
Tuesday, May 8 – 1-1:30 p.m. – Jewish Community Campus

Asia Business Summit »presented by the Mid-America Asian Culture Association
Friday, May 11 – 2-5 p.m. – Overland Park Convention Center

, presented by the Mid-America Asian Culture Association
Saturday, May 12 – 10-8:30 p.m. – Overland Park Convention Center

Great War in the Middle East »presented by the National World War I Museum and Memorial
Wednesday, May 23 – 6:30-8 p.m. – National World War I Museum and Memorial

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 Councils 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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