News & Press: Newsletters

Snow, Chiefs, and the IRC

Wednesday, January 16, 2019  
Posted by: IRC
Share |

Dear friends,

We know the snow and the Chiefs have been top of mind for much of KC in recent days (what a chill, and what a thrill!), but we hope to see you next week for these timely and locally relevant topics with experts to lead the conversations:

  • Next Tuesday, January 22 – IRC Book Club – We Wanted Workers – Kauffman Foundation Conference Center – read more and register »
  • Next Wednesday, January 23 – Megaregions and the Future of Transportation – KU Edwards Campus – read more and register »

We have a few other upcoming programs that may be of interest. On Sunday, February 3, we'll be making a Global Experience outing to the Unicorn Theatre in KCMO for a viewing of the world premiere of Nomad Hotel. The play speaks to the human stories that accompany international macrotrends, such as those governing migration between east Asia and the United States, and the unique experiences and obstacles that face the school-aged youths participating in that migration. After the play, we'll stick around to talk with the cast about the topics and themes raised in the production. We have a special group ticket rate. Space is limited, so we encourage you to sign up soon. More information is available below.

Whenever possible, we love to get together with our organizational members for a networking hour. In February, it's RSM's turn, and we'd love to have you there. RSM US is an accounting firm with local ties and global reach. This Tuesday, February 12, event will be an excellent chance to get to know about their international work and to connect with other IRC members and friends in RSM's South Plaza office space. Read on for more details.

We have just over a month until the much-anticipated Academic WorldQuest global knowledge competition for high-school students. On Saturday, February 23, teams from around the metro area will come together at the KU Edwards Campus for the chance to win an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national tournament. Please pass competition information » on to teachers and students you know, and help us grow the reach of this perennial student favorite. Best of all? The study guide is ready, and there's no cost to participate.

Stay warm! Go Chiefs! And see you soon!

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

This week, the World Citizen Blog is a 
spotlight on IRC member RSM ». 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.


Fatima Bello, Community Intern

Fatima Bello is a graduate of University of Missouri–Kansas City with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Interpersonal Communication. She also holds a Master's degree in International Relations from Regents University London with a focus on International Law and International Human Rights Law. Moreover, she specializes in women’s rights in northern Nigeria and has worked in Nigeria as a social justice advocate. She has experience with the United Nations Association as a representative for Nigeria. She has also held roles as an elected Student Senate representative, a International Club member, and the African Student Organization social chair. She has also held many volunteer roles in the areas of geriatric adult day care and child development. She is fluent in English and Hausa. She looks forward to a future role in UNICEF, the African union, or the United Nations. Her hobbies include tennis, going to the beach, vacationing, and meeting people of different backgrounds and making new connections.


Cyber conflict is a new and continually developing threat, which can include foreign interference in elections, industrial sabotage and attacks on infrastructure. Russia has been accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential elections in the United States and China is highly committed to using cyberspace as a tool of national policy. Dealing with cyber conflict will require new ways of looking at 21st century warfare. Is the United States prepared to respond to such threats?

Discuss this topic and many more in a Great Decisions group ». Getting involved is easy, and we’re happy to help! Email April Diaz, IRC program coordinator, at » to get started.


We are excited to announce that there are two new Great Decisions groups in the Kansas City metro, and the groups' leaders are welcoming people to check out their group. Please feel free to reach out to the organizers and join them for their first meetings, coming up soon!

Centered Spirit Group
When: First Thursday, 6 p.m. (beginning February 7, 2019)
Where: Centered Spirit Cultural and Holistic Center » (8131 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114)
For More Information: Contact Emilie Jackson »

Johnson County Community College
When: Every other Thursday, 2-3:30 p.m. (January 31, 2019; February 14, 2019; February 28,  2019; March 14, 2019;  March 28, 2019; April 11, 2019; April 25, 2019; and May 9, 2019)
Where: Johnson County Community College, CoLab (OCB 107)
For More Information: Contact Arne Zislin » or see the JCCC group's Great Decisions page »


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
Megaregions and the Future of Transportation – 
Wednesday, January 23 – BEST Conference Center, KU Edwards Campus
As the population continues to grow, the rise of megaregions places new demands on infrastructure, food supplies, and public services, requiring innovative solutions. The transportation of a growing number of people and goods in and between dense megaregions stands out as a particularly complex issue with local implications. The proposed Missouri Hyperloop route is just one of a number of solutions that deserve attention to help us understand the realities of megaregions and what this will mean for the greater Kansas City area. This program will explore the challenges and opportunities of megaregions and the future of transportation. Audience members are encouraged to bring their questions for what promises to be a fascinating conversation. 
Read more and register »

IRC Member Benefit 
Cover to Cover: Fukuyama To Discuss Identity Politics 
– Thursday, January 24 – 1-1:30 p.m. – via conference call
Demand for recognition of one’s identity is a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today. The universal recognition on which liberal democracy is based has been increasingly challenged by narrower forms of recognition based on nation, religion, sect, race, ethnicity, or gender, which have resulted in anti-immigrant populism, the upsurge of politicized Islam, the fractious “identity liberalism” of college campuses, and the emergence of white nationalism. The demand for identity cannot be transcended; we must begin to shape identity in a way that supports rather than undermines democracy. 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 contact Matthew ».

Registration Open
Global Experience: World Premiere Theatrical Production: Nomad Motel – Sunday, February 3 – Unicorn Theatre
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 watch the World Premiere Production of Nomad Motel, the story of two high school students living in the margins of Los Angeles. One is a “Parachute Kid,” sent by his family in Hong Kong to live alone in the States to get an American education. The play explores the immigrant experience, the barriers to thriving that children experience when their housing and/or family situation is less than stable, and the surprisingly shared experiences of parachute kids and those impacted by homelessness. The play speaks to the human stories that accompany international macrotrends, such as those governing migration between east Asia and the United States, and the unique experiences and obstacles that face the school-aged youths participating in that migration. Please stick around after the play for a “talk back,” which will provide an opportunity for audience members to speak with the cast and artistic team about the production, the script, and any issues that the play might raise. Read more and register »

Registration Open
IRC Networking Hour: RSM 
– Tuesday, February 12 – RSM
IRC networking hours give community members the chance to get to know each other and the IRC's organizational partners' work in the international space in Kansas City. On Tuesday, February 12, please join us to get to know the international accounting work of RSM, a traditional audit, tax, and consulting organization that focuses on work for middle-market companies. RSM US is the fifth largest accounting firm in the United States and is a member of the global accounting network RSM International. Refreshments provided with admission. 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 »

Registration Open
Berkley Lecture with Ambassador Paula Dobriansky – Monday, February 25 – 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.

Save the Date
WorldQuest 2019 – Thursday, April 4 – UMKC's Pierson Auditorium
Spring will soon arrive and, with it, WorldQuest, the IRC's much-anticipated annual trivia night! Join fellow world enthusiasts on Thursday, April 4, for friendly competition and fabulous prizes – all to support a worthy cause. Your ticket covers parking, dinner, drinks, and trivia. Additional contributions (in advance or that evening) are most welcome and will support the IRC's global-education efforts. Registration will open soon »


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 »

Migrant Education Program Family Engagement, presented by Shawnee Mission School District 
Wednesday, January 23 – 5:30-7 p.m. – Center for Academic Achievement

Prazak and Zemlinsky Quartets », presented by Friends of Chamber Music Kansas City
Friday, January 25 – 7:30 p.m. – Folly Theater

Sister City Spotlight Series: Arusha, Tanzania », presented by Sister Cities Association of KCMO
Tuesday, January 29 –  5-6:30 p.m. – Mesob Restaurant

Working Effectively Across Cultures », presented by the Asian American Chamber of Commerce
Tuesday, January 29 – 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Mazuma Credit Union 

UNA-GKC Annual Meeting and Dinner, presented by the United Nations Association 
Wednesday, January 30 – 6 p.m.  – Grace & Holy trinity Episcopal Cathedral

Tibetan New Year Celebration », presented by Rime Buddhist Center & Institute of Tibetan Studies 
Tuesday, February 5 – 5-8 p.m. – Rime Center

Chinese New Year Gala », presented by the Kansas City Chinese Association
Saturday, February 9 4:30-9 p.m. Carlsen Center at JCCC

Promise and Prejudice (Part of Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series) », presented by the Kansas City Public Library
Monday, February 11 – 6:30 p.m. – KCPL Central Library

UNA Women Book Club », presented by UNA Women of Greater Kansas City
Tuesday, February 12 – 6-8 p.m. – Travois

Mahjong and Desserts Anyone? », presented by KC Merlions
Saturday, February 16 – 4-6 p.m. –Coffee Talk

Kansas City Japanese Film Festival »
Sunday, February 24 – 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. – Alamo Drafthouse

Between Two Worlds: Identity and Acculturation (Part of Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series) », presented by the Kansas City Public Library
Monday, March 11 – 6:30 p.m. – KCPL Central Library

Help Wanted? Immigration and Work (Part of Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series) », presented by the Kansas City Public Library
Monday, April 8 – 6:30 p.m. – KCPL Central Library

Family and Community (Part of Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series) », presented by the Kansas City Public Library
Monday, April 22 – 6:30 p.m. – KCPL Central Library

Save the Date: Diplomatic Ball », presented by the Ethnic Enrichment Commission 
Saturday, April 27 

Immigration and Popular Culture (Part of Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series) », presented by the Kansas City Public Library
Monday, May 13 – 6:30 p.m. – KCPL Central Library

For a complete listing of events, please see the KC Community Calendar »


Nominations for the KS Governor's Exporter of the Year Award
Nominations for the “Kansas Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award” are due January 25.  You may nominate a business you work with or nominate your own business. The award-winning company will receive a site visit from the Governor to honor the company's management team and employees, a membership in Kansas International Trade Coordinating Council (KITCC) that selects the award finalists and winner, and the opportunity to use the award in your marketing/advertising. 
Please forward any questions you may have to April Chiang at

Public Intellectuals Program (PIP)
Generously funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, PIP is designed to identify outstanding members of the next generation of American China scholars, enrich their understanding of policymaking processes in both the United States and China, help them establish useful relationships both within academia and with policy practitioners, and nurture their ability to engage with the public at a national, regional, and local level. The program is open to Ph.D. academics in all disciplines; a limited number of slots are available for established professionals and policymakers. Must have demonstrated expertise on China, several years of experience teaching or in a professional field, and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.  Preference given to candidates between 30 to 45 years old, and to those living in the United States or Greater China. The application period for PIP VI closes Sunday, February 3. For questions regarding application, please email or call 212-645-9677, ext. 12.

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.

Dinner Diplomacy Opportunity
Saturday, January 26, 5:30 p.m. – Global Ties KC seeks two hosts to welcome three visitors each into their home. This special program is for young European leaders regarding "Current U.S. Social, Political, and Economic Issues". Visitors include Parliament members from Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania; a Director of Urban Reform from Greece; as well as a Mayor from Latvia. Dinner Diplomacy hosts are asked to pick up their visitors from their hotel, take them home for dinner, then return them at the end of the evening. If you are interested in hosting 3-6 visitors, contact Sarah Martin at

Homestay Hosting Opportunity
Global Ties KC is looking for homes within the KC Metro to welcome 6 Ukraine visitors for one week. These professionals are in Kansas City on a program regarding "Roma Issues". They will learn how to engage marginalized communities to promote a more equitable society. Visitors will attend meetings with Global Ties KC from 9-5 p.m. on weekdays, with the weekend available for cultural activities. They ask that families provide a bed, breakfast, dinner, and an authentic American experience.  For more information contact Sarah Martin at 816-421-4231 or


World Affairs Council of Philadelphia: Travel the World 2019
World Affairs Council of Philadelphia has been organizing Travel the World lifelong learning tours for more than 35 years. These trips offer all the highlights of touring plus access to political leaders and local experts who give behind-the-scenes views and briefings that make the trips special and unique. On many tours, experts on global politics accompany the groups. 2019 destinations include Southern Africa, Cuba, Israel, the Arctic, Mongolia, and more. Read more here ».