News & Press: Newsletters

April 18, 2018: Czech Ambassador & Slovak Consul General in May

Wednesday, April 18, 2018  
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Dear friends,

Thanks to everyone who joined us on Monday evening for an informative and dynamic conversation with Head Consul Alfonso Navarro and UCM Associate Professor Robynn Kuhlmann on the Mexican and U.S. electoral systems. Besides enjoying the food, the networking, and the view, attendees said they walked away with deeper understanding and new perspectives – definitely a primary goal for all our programs! We extend our sincere thanks to board member Randy Schultz and the Lathrop Gage law firm for their kind hospitality.

2018 marks the 100th anniversary for a number of important events, including the signing of the Pittsburgh Agreement, which paved the way for the creation of the state of Czechoslovakia. To mark the centennial of this pivotal document, we are excited to welcome to Kansas City in May Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček (Czech Republic) and Consul General Ladislava Begeç (Slovakia). Together with Honorary Consuls Ross Marine and Sharon Valasek and our friends at the World Trade Center, we invite you to join us at Union Station for a diplomat luncheon on Wednesday, May 16, where these special guests will offer reflections on the importance of the Pittsburgh Agreement and share updates on their countries in Europe today as well as the breadth and status of cultural and economic ties between their countries and the United States. Registration is now open for this important celebration; please join us!

The IRC's next Global Experience program will include a world tour of coffee at the Roasterie. If you like coffee, or if you like global supply chains and political economy, you won't want to miss this opportunity for an insider's look at the international story of one of Kansas City's favorite drinks. There's a nominal charge for the tour on Thursday, May 3. Please do register below and bring a friend.

In case you haven't heard yet, the end of April will find the U.S. Department of Commerce's Discover Global Markets conference in Kansas City. This event is an excellent opportunity for local businesses to explore their global prospects. We invite you to look at details below and register if you're interested.

Thanks for all you do to support an international perspective in Kansas City. We're glad to be working with you in this important effort.

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 the Trump-Abe summit, U.S.-North Korea relations, the Syrian war, Germany as an outlier, and Castro's successor. Read more »

This week, the IRC's World Citizen Blog discusses the value of learning new languages, beyond general communication
. 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 »

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Discover Global Markets (DGM): Design + Construct conference is coming to Kansas City, MO, April 30 – May 2DGM is the U.S. Department of Commerce flagship event series for U.S. exporters to engage with decision makers or high level executives of companies from overseas countries.  Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about global construction opportunities, gain market intelligence on licensure and registration requirements, and schedule one-on-one meetings with U.S. Commercial Diplomats, project owners, developers and government officials from key markets, such as Brazil, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, Peru, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. In addition, major U.S. architecture, engineering and construction firms (“Primes”) will be on site seeking specialized suppliers of services, materials and equipment. Note that continuing education credits are also available from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). For more information and registration, please visit: questions, contact

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
Global Experience: The Roasterie Coffee World Tour – Thursday, May 3 – 4:45-6 p.m. – The Roasterie
Get your hairnets ready! On Thursday, May 3, we will venture where no IRC event has ventured before: from the forests of Brazil to the fields of Ethiopia, join as we learn about the international nature of Kansas City’s favorite drink. Through an exclusive tour of The Roasterie offered to IRC participants, we will learn about the global context of the coffee industry, including its political economy, distribution, & supply chain. Bring your questions and a willingness to sample some of the best coffee around. Tickets $5. Hairnets provided. Click here to reserve your spot »

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
Diplomat Luncheon: Czech Ambassador and Slovak Consul General Mark the 100th Anniversary of the Pittsburgh Agreement 
– Wednesday, May 16 – 12-1:45 p.m. – Union Station
In commemoration of the Pittsburgh Agreement of 1918, which declared the intent to create an independent European state to be known as Czechoslovakia, the International Relations Council and the World Trade Center–Kansas City, together with the Czech and Slovak Club of Greater Kansas City, invite you to join us in welcoming to Kansas City Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček (Czech Republic) and Consul General Ladislava Begeç (Slovakia). A luncheon with an introduction to the Pittsburgh Agreement’s significance will be held at Union Station on Wednesday, May 16, with registration at 11:30. There, the visiting dignitaries will discuss the valuable role of the modern states of the Czech and Slovak Republics and the important economic, social, and cultural ties between the Czech and Slovak Republics and the U.S., with particular emphasis on the Midwestern Unit ed States. A smaller business round table will follow the lunch program. 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 ».

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

Driving Industry Forward: Priority Markets for Wichita's Global Clusters,  presented by the World Trade Council
Thursday, April 26 – 6 p.m. – Wichita Marriott

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

Baile an Salsa »presented by the Kansas City Folk Festival
Friday, May 4 – 8-10 p.m. – Kansas City Irish Center

Pakistan: Understanding its Independence, presented by the Greater Kansas City Chapter of People to People
Friday, May 4 – 7-8 p.m. – Church of the Resurrection (Leawood, KS)

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

India Festpresented by the India Association of Kansas City
Sunday, August 26 – 10-6 p.m. – Overland Park Convention Center

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, an d 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 ».