News & Press: Newsletters

Peacebuilding, Ethics, Entrepreneurship, and Venezuela in the Weeks Ahead

Wednesday, October 24, 2018  
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Dear friends,

The IRC office has been buzzing with activity this week as we get ready for the November 1 Global Honors Evening at the InterContinental Hotel. Ambassador Bill Burns, former deputy secretary of state and U.S. ambassador to Russia and current president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, will offer a timely and thoughtful keynote on "American Diplomacy in a Changing International Landscape." We'll be recognizing the City of Kansas City, Missouri, too, along with the winner of the 2018 Eliot S. Berkley Award. Registration closes this Friday, October 26 – please join us. Read more and register »

Friday is also the deadline for applications for IRC internships for spring 2019. Positions for marketing, events, community, and other areas are available for undergraduate (junior and senior) and graduate students from around the area. More information is available on the IRC website ».

This ThursdayFriday, and Saturday, we'll be at different locations around Kansas City for the Greater KC Peacebuilding Conference. Join us at Avila on Thursdayevening for a film screening and discussion, at Park University on Friday afternoon for academic presentations on the role of radio in peacebuilding, and at JCCC in Overland Park on Saturday for a community program featuring Ambassador Bill Taylor, executive vice president of the U.S. Institute of Peace. All three days are free and open to the public, but registration is requested. Read more and register »

The weeks ahead hold some additional free programs the IRC is proud to support, and we encourage you to attend any that pique your interest:

  • What Do You Owe the World? – a thoughtful conversation with Dr. Shannon French, Inamori professor of ethics and director of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University – Tuesday, October 30
  • Working Across Countries and Cultures: What It Means for Entrepreneurs – Wednesday, November 14
  • Maduro's Venezuela: Challenges and Implications with Dr. Steve Ellner – Thursday, November 15

Thanks so much; we hope to see you soon!

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

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 at the Academic WorldQuest competition ». 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 study guide and topics for the 2019 were recently released. Click here for more information ».

If you are a current undergraduate or graduate student who is passionate about understanding the world and contributing to meaningful local conversations that bring a global perspective to our community, we'd love to talk with you! The IRC may have an internship available that will give you valuable experience in the nonprofit sector, supplement your studies, and put your professional skills to use. Positions are available in the areas of audio and visual production, community, digital resources, events, fund development, global education, marketing, and social media/web. Applications are due no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, October 26. 
Click here for more information ».

This week, the World Citizen Blog is a look at the "globe-trotting career" of Nikita Hayward and the importance of internationally focused internships ». 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.


Registration Closing Soon
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 Open
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 »

Registration Open
Working Across Countries and Cultures: What It Means for Entrepreneurs – Wednesday, November 14 – Plexpod Westport Commons
Join us as we hear from diverse panel of individuals who have worked internationally or taken their work abroad as they share lessons about entrepreneurship and working across cultures. This event is offered as part of the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Week in partnership with KCSourceLink. Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is where connections happen and teams come together to get inspired, prepare for the next challenge and celebrate Kansas City entrepreneurship. It’s an international celebration of the makers, innovators, and job creators who launch startups and bring ideas to life. Founded by the Kauffman Foundation in 2008, it has since expanded to more than 160 countries. Here in KC, #GEWKC2018 will be celebrated with more than 170 events and thousands of attendees. 
Read more and register »

Free Event
Maduro's Venezulea: Challenges and Implications – Thursday, November 15 – UMKC's Student Union
The challenges of Nicolás Maduro’s president terms in Venezuela encompass sharp socio-political polarization and political and economic hardships. A swift decline of oil prices, a campaign of destabilization, U.S. sanctions, and Maduro’s failure to appreciate the importance of market dynamics are some factors at play. Dr. Steve Ellner will discuss the dynamics within Chavismo and between Chavismo and the opposition in Venezuela, their impacts for Venezuelans, and implications for U.S. - Venezuela and Latin American relations. 
Read more »

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

Aida Cuevas and Mariachi Juvenil Tecalitlan, Totalmente Juan Gabriel », presented by Johnson County Community College
Friday, October 26 – 8 p.m. – Yardley Hall

Panama Canal: Improving Transit of U.S. LNG (webinar) », presented by the U.S. Commercial Service and Panama Canal Authority 
Tuesday, October 30 – 10 a.m. – webinar

What Do You Owe the World?, presented by the Jewish Community Center of Greater KC
Tuesday, October 30 – 7-9 p.m. – Jewish Community Campus

Unmasking the Spy: Intelligence Gathering », presented by the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics
Tuesday, October 30 – 7-8:30 p.m. – Dole Institute 

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

2018 Dole Leadership Prize: James A. Baker, III », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics 
Wednesday, November 7 – 2-3:30 p.m. – Dole Institute

Naturalization Ceremony », presented by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri 
Wednesday, November 7 – 11 a.m. – Kansas City Public Library

"Kristallnacht: An 80-Year Retrospect", featuring German and Austrian Holocaust survivors », presented by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
Thursday, November 8 – 7 p.m. –  Congregation Ohev Sholom

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

Soweto Gospel Choir, Songs of the Free: Celebrating the Centennial Of Nelson Mandela's Birth », presented by Johnson County Community College
Friday, November 9 – 8 p.m. – Yardley Hall

Interfaith Thanksgiving Dinner », presented by Heartland Alliance of Divine Love 
Sunday, November 11 – 4-6:30 p.m. – St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Creating a Cultural Bridge, presented by JVS
Tuesday, November 13 – 5-6:30 p.m. – JVS

International Fair, presented by Missouri Western State University International Student Services
Wednesday, November 14 – 3-6 p.m. – Fulkerson Center 

Mid-America Trade Summit, presented by the International Trade Center
Wednesday-Thursday, November 14-15 – University of Missouri, Columbia

For more events, please see the 
KC Community Calendar »


Rotary Grants for Undergraduate International Exchange Travel
Rotary District Scholarship Committee District 6040 provides District Grant Scholarships and Global Grant Scholarships. District Grant Scholarships » provide a stipend of $2,500 for one or two semesters of undergraduate or graduate level coursework abroad. Global Grant Scholarships » provide up to $70,000 for graduate-level studies at a university outside the United States. The number of scholarships funded is dependent upon Annual Fund/SHARE contributions from clubs and individuals three years prior to the current Rotary year. All scholarships are grants and must meet the terms and conditions of The Rotary Foundation. Questions about District and Global Grant Scholarships should be sent to D6040 Scholarship Sub-Committee Chairperson, Brad Kleindl,

State Department Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program
Applications are now being accepted for the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program at ». Applications are due Tuesday, November 27, 2018 by 7:00pm CST. The CLS Program is a fully-funded intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to ten weeks abroad studying one of 15 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu. The scholarship program includes international airfare, tuition, and all program costs, as well as meals and living accommodations (often with a host family). Participants are selected based on their commitment to language learning and plans to apply their language skills to their future academic or professional pursuits. CLS plays an important role in preparing students for the 21st century's globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness. Questions about CLS? Email

SQCC: 2019 Summer Arabic Language and Media Program
WACA partner Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center » is now accepting applications for the 2019 Summer Arabic Language and Media (SALAM) program, a fully-funded competitive scholarship program to study intensive Arabic in the Sultanate of Oman. The SALAM scholarship allows students to gain a deeper knowledge of Arabic, while becoming familiar with Omani history and culture. The program dates are June 14 - August 8, 2019, and the application deadline is December 31, 2018. To submit an application, or for more information, please visit the SALAM page » on the SQCC website.

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 28, 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.

Global FC Seeks Volunteers for Multiple Opportunities
Global FC » exists to bridge diverse cultures to come together. Using soccer as a vehicle for transformative impact, the nonprofit supports under-served youth and families including refugees in the Kansas City area with the tools to overcome obstacles to success. They are currently seeking volunteers for numerous positions, including: coaches, assistant coaches, team managers, team mentors, mentors, drivers, tutors, as well as general volunteers. To find out more about these incredible opportunities to impact youth in life transformational ways, contact: Mariya Dostzadah Goodbrake at mariya@branch-global or Ella Munthali at
Citizenship Preparation Program - Teachers Needed
The Citizenship Preparation Program at Catholic Charities is now recruiting volunteer teachers! They are looking for enthusiastic volunteers who have at least some experience (or education related to) teaching English language learners and are able to commit to teaching every Monday or Thursday night from 6-8 p.m. at the Kansas City Kansas Public Library from the weeks of October 8 to December 17. Lead teachers are responsible for preparing materials, facilitating lessons from the curriculum, and monitoring tutors and students during class. It’s about a 4-hour commitment per week, including class time. There are two required trainings prior to teaching: Volunteer Onboarding and Training and Teacher Training. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Kristin Selby at

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. »