News & Press: Newsletters

Scholarship Opportunity for High-Schoolers

Wednesday, September 19, 2018  
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Dear friends,

We appreciated seeing everyone at the different events for which Sarah Margon, Human Rights Watch's Washington director, joined us last week. Special thanks to KCUR, Dr. Brian Wright and Johnson County Community College, and Christina Arnone, Kirk Doan, and Stinson Leonard Street for their help facilitating Ms Margon's visit.

Each year, the IRC awards a scholarship to a high-school junior or senior who has demonstrated superior academic interest and competence in international studies. We encourage all area high-schoolers with an interest in global affairs to take a look at the requirements for the Eliot S. Berkley Award », named in honor of our founder. The application process does have a few steps, including requesting letters of recommendation, so do pay close attention to the instructions, and note the deadline of Friday, October 12. Don't hesitate to be in touch with any questions.

Nominations for the IRC board of directors are still being accepted through next Friday, September 28. We welcome interest from individuals across the Kansas City area who would like to support the IRC in this special volunteer capacity. Additional details are available below.

The CHINA Town Hall on Tuesday, October 9, will help us to make sense of the fast-moving volley of tariffs and trade between the U.S. and China. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will join us in an interactive webcast, and we'll have an in-person panel of local speakers including Virginia Harper Ho from KU Law School, J.P. Morgan Chase Global Trade Specialist Lori Helmers, Missouri Soybean Association Board Vice President Ronnie Russell, and Husch Blackwell Partner Fang Shen. The program is free and open to the public, though we do ask you to register in advance to help with planning. More information is available below.

Finally this week, we're looking for one or two area high-school seniors who can help at the IRC office once a week for an hour or two on a regular basis. This is a great opportunity for students interested in Kansas City's international community who need service hours. Interested students should write to Matthew ».

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director • 816-423-2632

This week, the World Citizen Blog is a recap the IRC event last week with Sarah Margon », Washington director of Human Rights Watch 
. 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 International Relations Council is currently accepting nominations for its 2019 board of directors. Board members serve a three-year term, starting January 1, and are eligible for re-election to a second three-year term. Nominations must be received by Friday, September 28, 2018. All submitted nominations are reviewed by the nominations committee, and successful candidates are contacted by the committee to be considered for approval by the full board. The selection of the best candidates is driven by the desire to ensure that the board is comprised of engaged members who bring a range of essential skills and experiences and reflect the organization's international focus. Instructions for nominating yourself or someone you know are available on the IRC website ».


Each year, in memory of our founder and longtime executive director, Eliot S. Berkley, the International Relations Council presents this award to an exceptional high-school junior or senior who has demonstrated superior academic interest and competence in international studies. The award includes a $500 scholarship. Complete applications include three parts: an informational form, an essay of 1,000 to 1,200 words, and two letters of recommendation. Materials must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, October 12, 2018. The awardee will be notified by Monday, October 22, and invited to attend the IRC’s Global Honors Evening on Thursday, November 1Read more »

Shawnee Mission East International Club will be hosting an annual lobster sale in October. Lobsters may be ordered on our website October 1 – Oct. 15, and will be available for pick up on Sat. Oct. 20 at the SME gym entry. Lobsters will be flown in fresh that morning, at a cost of $17 for about a 1 and ¼ to 1 and 1/3 lb lobster. The sale benefits the International Club which offers scholarships to East students who are involved in educational programs abroad, and assists International exchange students attending East by paying for yearbooks, school supplies, and caps and gowns for graduation. Questions may be directed to Brenda Fishman at or 913-993-6691.

The Peace Day Challenge, organized by the United States Institute of Peace, exists to raise the profile of the International Day of Peace and to affirm peace as a real alternative to the violence we see every day in the news. It is all about inspiring a day of action on September 21, focused on building peace through real-life activities and sharing on social media at #PeaceDayChallenge. Since launching in 2015, the Peace Day Challenge has reached 104 million people in 148 countries on social media, engaged dozens of organizations, and inspired activities in more than 30 countries and 41 U.S. states. 
Click here » for information on how you can participate in the challenge. Resources include an updated social media kit; graphics to share; and new action ideas for young people, teachers, and organizations.


Morgan Styer, Marketing Intern
Morgan Styer is a senior at Avila University majoring in graphic design. She enjoys finding ways to use her work to better the lives of others. Whether it be through nonprofit organizations or simply helping a friend create a fun new logo for their business, she finds happiness in growth. At Avila, her designs can be seen across campus, as she has designed the team wear for the Avila cheerleading squad along with managing their social media accounts. She has also found some success as a student by winning silver in the 2018 ADDY Awards. When she is not designing, you can find her on a bike or board at the local skatepark.



Registration Open
Book Club: War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence 
Tuesday, October 2 – 6:30-8 p.m. – Kauffman Foundation Center
The IRC Book Club gives participants the opportunity to discuss foreign affairs, global topics, authors' perspectives, historical events, and their current local relevance in a respectful, engaging setting. Please join us for this thought-provoking exploration of the transformation in America’s place in the world by Pulitzer prize-winning author Ronan Farrow. This program is free and open to the public, though reservations are requested to help with planning. 
Read more and register »

Registration Open
Global Experience: Emilie's French Teas – 6-7:30 p.m. – October 3 – Emilie's French Teas
The IRC's Global Experience series asks, "What's your global story? Do you get the chance to share it?" Join the IRC as we hear from the founders of Centered Spirit Cultural and Holistic Center and Emilie's French Teas in Waldo as they speak on the global nature of tea. Topics will include the history, sourcing, and cultural meanings of tea around the world. After the presentation, participants will be encouraged to taste free tea samples, ask questions, and discuss this delicious beverage with fellow attendees
Read more and register »

Registration Open
CHINA Town Hall: Tariffs and Trade with China
, Featuring Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice via Webcast – 4:30-7 p.m. – Tuesday, October 9 – KC Chamber Board Room in Union Station
CHINA Town Hall is a business-focused conversation on China taking place in communities throughout the United States and China. This year, former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice will address a national audience, including our Kansas City participants, via live stream; participants will be able to submit questions via social media. Following the live stream, a panel of Kansas City-based experts will address the audience in person. 
Read more and register »

Registration Open
Your Global Future 
– Tuesday, October 16 – 9-3 p.m. – Union Station
Away from the borders and coasts, Kansas City-area students are often surprised to find just how many international academic and professional opportunities await them after high school. This unique college and career fair will bring together dozens of international businesses, organizations, and colleges and universities to show students just how global their future can be. The program will be underwritten by support from the participating organizations and generous Kansas City-area donors to ensure that attendance is completely cost-free for teachers and students. Sponsor packages to increase visibility and impact are available, and schools will be eligible to receive up to $200 to offset the cost of bus transportation. 
Read more here »

Registration Open
Greater KC Peacebuilding Conference 
– Thursday, October 25, to Saturday, October 27, 2018
Now in its sixth year, the Greater KC Peacebuilding Conference looks at peacebuilding from local, national, and international perspectives. The 2018 theme is Achievements in Peacebuilding: Stories from the Field. Events include a film screening/panel discussion (Thursday), academic symposium (Friday), and community conference (Saturday). Saturday's keynote speaker will be Amb. Bill Taylor, EVP at USIP. All events are free and open to the public; RSVP requested. All are welcome. 
Read more here »

Registration Opening Soon
What Do You Owe the World? – Tuesday, October 30 – 7-9 p.m. – Jewish Community Campus
The IRC is proud to support the Command and General Staff College Foundation at Fort Leavenworth and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City to provide a civil environment for thoughtful discussions about critical issues addressing the question: What do you owe the world? The speaker for this event is Dr. Shannon French, Inamori professor of ethics and director of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University. 
Read more here » 

Registration Open 
Global Honors Evening – Thursday, November 1 – 5:30-9 p.m. – InterContinental Hotel 
Each year since the early 1980s, the IRC has recognized individuals and organizations for contributions to foreign policy and global affairs, international commerce, or the Kansas City community. In 2018, we’re pleased once again to celebrate a range of individuals and groups that make Kansas City a shining global community, this time with a special evening on the Kansas City Plaza. 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. Please join us! 
Read more and register »

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 »

English for Citizenship Classes », presented by Kansas City Public Library RISE 
Wednesdays, August 29-November 14 – Central Library

Spanish Lessons, presented by the YMCA of Greater Kansas City
Thursday, September 20 – 1 p.m. – Blue Springs Family YMCA

Exploring the Visual Language of Maps & Data, presented by the University of Kansas 
Friday, September 21 – 4 p.m. – 317 Lindley Hall

Kansas Missouri Dream Alliance 10th Anniversary Gala », presented by KS/MO DREAM Alliance 
Friday, September 21 – 7-10 p.m. – The Venue

Peacekeeper's Roundtable, presented by the United Nations Association 
Saturday, September 22 – 1 p.m. – Truman Library

Latin American Cinema Festival: The Heiresses, presented by Sociedad Hidalgo 
Saturday, September 22 – 11 a.m. – Rio Theater

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

Welcoming Week: Film, I am Rebecca », presented by JVS and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 
Sunday, September 23 – 1-2 p.m. – Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

International Cooking Class, presented by Missouri Western State University International Student Services 
Monday, September 24  5-6:30 p.m. – Commons (Res Hall)

Hispanic Family College Fair, presented by Olathe Schools 
Tuesday, September 25 – 5-7 p.m. – Olathe North High School 

Humanities Lecture Series: Frontline – Latinos and Immigration from a Woman’s Perspective, presented by Hall Center for the Humanities
Wednesday, September 26   10 a.m.  Hall Center Conference Hall 

Amal Kassir, presented by Missouri Western State University 
Wednesday, September 26 – 7 p.m. – Spratt 101

Hispanic Chamber After Hours, presented by the Hispanic Chamber
Thursday, September 27  5-8 p.m. – Heritage Center at Mahaffie

18th Biennial Edgar Snow Symposium », presented by the Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation
Thursday-Saturday, October 4-6, 2018 – InterContinental Hotel

5th Annual Celebration of International Friendship, presented by the Command and General Staff College Foundation
Thursday, October 4 – 7 p.m. – Kauffman Center for Performing Arts

Mattie Rhodes Dia de Los Muertos Festival, presented by Mattie Rhodes Center 
Friday-Saturday  – October 5-6  – Mattie Rhodes Art Gallery

Turkic Food Festival, presented by the Dialogue Institute 
Saturday, October 6 – 11 a.m.-3 p.m. –  4215 Shawnee Drive, KCK

JapanFest », presented by KC Japan Festival 
Saturday, October 6 – 10 a.m.-7 p.m. – Johnson County Community College

Russian Volga Tatar Culture and Cuisine Presentation », presented by Kansas City RU 
Sunday, October 7 – 1-3 p.m. – Irina's Gourmet Bakery

Voila, The Patriotic Banquet for Haiti », presented by Glory House Services 
Saturday, October 12  6-9 p.m. – Gladstone Community Center

Circle of Knowledge, presented by the GKC People to People 
Sunday, October 14   1:30 p.m.   Bethel United Church of Christ

Tea & Talk, presented by Missouri Western State University International Student Services 
Wednesday, October 17 – 12-1:30 p.m. – Blum 210

For more events, please see the 
KC Community Calendar »

Call for Poster Proposals: 2019 Global Ties U.S. National Meeting 
Global Ties U.S., a nonprofit partner of the U.S. Department of State, is seeking poster proposals highlighting research on foreign policy, international exchanges, nonprofit management, and advocacy. Selected posters will be displayed at the Global Ties National Meeting in January. The Poster Session is an opportunity for academics, scholars, students, and researchers to present their work to a global network of public and private sector partners. View last year’s examples ». Please read the FAQs » and send in your proposal by October 1 through the online application link ». For any questions, contact Franzi Rook at

World of 7 Billion Video Contest
Back by popular demand, the World of 7 Billion student video contest helps you bring technology and creativity into your middle and high school classes. The contest challenges students to create a short video connecting world population growth to one of three global challenges: preserving biodiversity, sustainable resource use, or human rights. Students can win cash prizes (featuring 80+ new prizes this year!), and participating teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The deadline for submissions is February 28th, 2019 – use this 
lesson plan » to get started now! Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners, and more can be found here ».

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 ».

These are just a sampling of international volunteer opportunities in Kansas City. Visit the Volunteer Center » for more one-time and ongoing opportunities to support international initiatives.

Great Art Needs Volunteer Help
Open Spaces is a historic arts exhibition in Kansas City that takes place citywide from Saturday, August 25, to Sunday, October 28. Learn more about it at ». The Open Spaces team is looking for volunteers to help bring the art to the people! Open Spaces offers a diverse schedule of events and performances, along with the exhibition of more than 40 great visual artworks throughout the city. Their team needs volunteers to sit with artworks or welcome the public at various events. This volunteer work is often calm and quiet, and Open Spaces can work with your schedule. It's a great way to meet people interested in the arts and to learn about contemporary art for yourself. Interested? Fill out this quick and easy form, and we'll contact you! »

The Simulations Center Seeks Student Volunteers for World Crisis Simulation Testing
The Simulations Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to reinforcing social studies concepts of economics, political science, and geography by providing hands-on learning experiences. During the World Crisis simulation, students participate as a country-team to re-establish international trade with other student country-teams and then are challenged by a global economic or political crisis. The Simulations Center is looking for high school students interested in government, international affairs, business/economics, or journalism to participate in our testing as we grow World Crisis from a classroom experience into a large multi-school simulation event. Please contact Ray Barbosa ( to sign up or to learn more.


Global Prep Squad
Global Prep Squad is a student-run cultural consulting firm made up of international studies students from Summit Technology Academy. If you or your employees are traveling, please consider contacting Global Prep Squad and ask them for a personalized “culture map” to use as a guide for working in your destination culture.

World Affairs Councils of America National Conference: Braving the New World Order
For nearly three decades, the WACA National Conference has brought World Affairs Council leaders and members to engage with top government officials, diplomats, business executives, innovators, journalists, educators, and students on the most pressing global issues and policy choices that impact our lives. By attending this year's WACA Conference in Washington, DC, you will benefit from: Expert opinions, timely insights, and audience dialogue about the United States' role in the world Access to extraordinary speakers, thought leaders, and ambassadors available for local Council programming Bipartisan, diverse, and inclusive perspectives on the Administration’s "America First" philosophy Visits to think tanks and embassies, networking receptions, and dinners Professional development, leadership training, mentoring, and peer-to-peer networking. 
Click here for more information and to register ».