News & Press: Newsletters

2019 Great Decisions Materials Now on Sale

Wednesday, October 31, 2018  
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Dear friends,

The big day is almost here! We're looking forward to seeing many of you tomorrow for the 2018 Global Honors Evening at the InterContinental Hotel, where we'll recognize Ambassador Bill Burns for distinguished service to international statesmanship and the City of Kansas City, Missouri, for contributions to the community. If you have any questions about the event, please reach out to April at » or 816-423-2632. We do have a very limited number of seats still available, so feel free to be in touch with April to inquire about those, as well.

Materials for the 2019 Great Decisions season are now available on the IRC website. Briefing books cost $25 (a $7 from the Foreign Policy Association price), and DVDs are $40. We'll be sharing additional information on Great Decisions groups (including some new ones!) in the coming weeks, but a quick intro for anyone unfamiliar: Great Decisions discussion groups meet around the KC metro area to discuss eight topics of global concern per year, using materials published by the Foreign Policy Association. 2019 topics include nuclear negotiations, the Middle East, and cyber conflict. To learn more or buy materials for 2019, please visit the IRC website ». If you're interested in joining or starting a group, please let April know », and we'll be glad to connect you.

Eight high-school teams have already signed up for the 2019 Academic WorldQuest competition on Saturday, February 23! Which school will be next? This annual tournament allows teams of four students from area high schools to showcase their global knowledge for the grand prize of an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national tournament. The best part? The competition is completely cost-free for students. All the information you need is on the IRC website »; we do ask teachers and administrators to register at their earliest convenience to help us with planning, and we ask others to share with teachers and students you know.

(In case you're interested in the popular WorldQuest trivia night for adults, please save the date of Thursday, April 4, 2019. We'll be sharing more information on that exciting event very soon.)

We look forward to seeing you before long!

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 ».

Innovation drives economic growth and changes lives—and it’s our entrepreneurs who bring those innovations to life. To move those innovations takes some serious gumption and the right team of founders, funders, designers, managers, developers, marketers, sales leaders, makers and resources. 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. More information about Global Entrepreneurship Week, including a full list of programs, can be found here: ». To learn more about the IRC's GEW event (Working Across Countries and Cultures: What It Means for Entrepreneurs), visit the IRC event page »



Limited Seats Available
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. 
Read more here » To inquire about seat availability, email April Diaz at or call (816) 423-2632.

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 »

Registration Open
Maduro's Venezuela: 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 »

Registration Open
IRC Book Club: We Wanted Workers Unraveling the Immigrations Narrative – Tuesday, January 22 – Kauffman Foundation Conference 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. Convened by seasoned Great Decisions leader Jack McLaren, the group meets every six to eight weeks to dig into a different author's work. 
Read more and register ».

Registration Open
Academic WorldQuest 2019 – Saturday, February 23 – BEST Conference Center, KU Edwards campus
Join us for this fun and free event, where students, as a team, answer questions on various international topics. The tournament is open to teams of four students in grades 9-12, plus a faculty sponsor, from Kansas City-area high schools. Study materials are provided in advance. 
Read more and register ».

Save the Date
Berkley Lecture with Ambassador Paula Dobriansky – Wednesday, February 27 – Grand Street Cafe
Join us for the 2019 Berkley lecture with Paula Jon Dobriansky, an American foreign policy expert who has served in key roles as a diplomat and policy maker in the administrations of five U.S. presidents, both Democrat and Republican. She is a specialist in the areas of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and in political-military affairs. Details for this event will be 
posted here » as they become available. Registration will open by the end of 2018.

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 »

Armistice Centennial Commemoration », presented by the National WWI Museum and Memorial 
Friday-Sunday, November 2-11  – Times Vary by Event – National WWI Museum and Memorial

Turkic Food Fest, presented by the Dialogue Institute
Saturday, November 3 – 11 a.m.-3 p.m. – Dialogue Institute of KC

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

Trade 101: Getting Started in Exporting », presented by the World Trade Center of KC
Thursday, November 8  
– 1-3 p.m.  – World Trade Center Conference Room

Global Ties KC Community Reception for Ukrainian Journalists », presented by Global Ties KC
Thursday, November 8 – 5:30-7:30 p.m. – BRIO Tuscan Grille on the Plaza

"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

From Cold War to Hot Peace: Explaining Our New Conflict with Russia », presented by UMKC
Tuesday, November 13 – 6 p.m. – Pierson Auditorium

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

The German Army and the Kaiser's Abdication », presented by the World War I Museum and Memorial
Wednesday, November 28 –  6:30 p.m. – J.C. Nichols Auditorium

For a complete listing of 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. »