News & Press: Newsletters

Cabin Fever? Come Meet the IRC Community!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019  
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Dear friends,

What a winter, eh? Last night's snow and ice closed the KU Edwards Campus, where this evening's program on megaregions and the future of transportation was to be held. As a result, and thanks to the flexibility of our panelists, we've rescheduled the event for next Thursday, January 31, from 5:45-8 p.m. If you were hoping to attend but weren't able to register, it turns out that there's still time. For anyone who registered but is now not able to attend, please contact April » for assistance.

Last night, we had a wonderful group come together for a Book Club conversation facilitated by new IRC President Jeff Bell. Sharing his 25+ years of immigration law experience, Jeff led the group in a discussion about We Wanted Workers, which explores economic questions around immigration. Special thanks to Book Club conveners Jack McLaren and Howard Trilling for organizing this series of respectful dialogues that welcome many different perspectives. The Book Club will be on hiatus until June to leave room for Great Decisions groups, which will get underway very soon.

IRC organizational member RSM will be hosting a networking hour on Tuesday, February 12, at their South Plaza offices. This is a great chance to get to know their international work, meet some of their team, and connect with members of the IRC and the larger community. We'll provide refreshments and a brief overview of the IRC, and RSM will give an update, as well. Registration is now open.

We have a limited number of Great Decisions briefing books and DVDs left in the office. If you are interested in joining a group or still need to purchase materials, April can help ». The IRC website » offers an overview of the Great Decisions program as well as a list of area groups who are accepting new members.

You'll find a number of additional opportunities below, covering a range of topics, speakers, and audiences. Please check out the complete calendar for a theatrical performance, a lunchtime discussion on Canada, the Academic WorldQuest tournament for high-school students, the 2019 Berkley Lecture, and a March program on Brexit. If you have thoughts on other programs you'd like to see, won't you let us know »?

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

This week, the World Citizen Blog is a 
reflection on national security and the upcoming Berkley Lecture ». 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.


Beatrice Guerra, Events Intern
Beatrice Guerra is currently a graduate student at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, majoring in Political Science. She has a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages for International Relations from the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. In Italy she was an intern at the U.S. Consulate General in Milan and a fashion company Loro Piana. She believes in solidarity and in 2015 began volunteering at the welcome center for refugees called "La Grangia di Monluè," located in Milan. Beatrice loves to travel has studied abroad in California, Spain, the UK, and Malta. Thanks to these experiences she has many memories which will last a lifetime! During her internship, Beatrice looks forward to supporting the staff and improving her skills.



The United States and Mexico have a long, intertwined history, with both countries prominently featured in each other’s politics and agendas. The war on drugs, immigration and trade issues have taxed the relationship over the years. What impact will new leadership in both countries have on this crucial partnership?

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 »


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 ».

Rescheduled Due to Weather
Megaregions and the Future of Transportation – 
Thursday, January 31 – 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 »

Registration Closing Soon
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
Closing the Global Gap: Canada 
 Wednesday, February 6 – Johnson County Community College
Please join us for this mid-day event as guest speakers discuss Canada’s foreign policy and the country’s evolving role in the world as a middle power. Featured speakers include Dr. Jack MacLennan, assistant professor of political science at Park University, and Suzanne Maheu, coordinator of homestay and community support services at JCCC. 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. 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
Brexit and the Future of Europe 
– Wednesday, March 13 – CBIZ on the Plaza
Since the June 2016 Brexit referendum, the United Kingdom has entered uncharted territory as it prepares to leave the European Union on March 29. As the new year dawned, there were questions about whether Brexit would happen, in what form, and how it would affect politics and economics. Amanda Sloat from the Brookings Institution will discuss the latest developments and discuss what Brexit means for the UK, US, and Europe. Registration will be available on the event page » soon. 

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 »

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

Chinese New Year Festival », presented by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Sunday, January 27 – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. – Nelson-Atkins

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

Discussion Group Series: International Trade in the 21st Century », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Wednesday, February 13 – 4-5:30 p.m. – Dole Institute, Lawrence

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

Discussion Group Series: International Trade in the 21st Century », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Wednesday, February 20 – 4-5:30 p.m. – Dole Institute, Lawrence

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

Discussion Group Series: International Trade in the 21st Century », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Wednesday, February 27 – 4-5:30 p.m. – Dole Institute, Lawrence

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.

UMKC Avanzando Program needs mentors! (Spanish not required)

In the fall of 2011, the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) implemented Avanzando, a program designed to support Latinx students in reaching their academic and career goals. They are working in partnership with the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund (HDF) to improve retention, increase graduation rates, and ensure successful transitions into the workforce and/or graduate/professional school. Last year, Avanzando provided support to over 70 UMKC Latinx students including many HDF scholarship recipients, and they expect the program to grow significantly in the coming academic year. An Avanzando mentor commits to and takes an active role in developing a meaningful relationship with a scholar throughout her/his academic career and fosters an environment where the scholar feels free to share successes, concerns and challenges. Sign up here »

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


Interpreter Training
Are you bilingual? Interested in becoming an interpreter? Join Bridging the Gap for an interpreter training. Register today for Thursday or Saturday classes. Thursday sessions start February 21 and last from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Saturday sessions will start March 23 and go from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. To register and for more information, contact Catherine Anderson at; 816-629-8908.

English for Citizenship 
The Kansas City Public Library will host another round of English for Citizenship starting Wednesday, January 30. This 12-week course meets every Wednesday night from 6-8 p.m. at the Central Library. It is designed to help develop the language skills necessary to pass the USCIS naturalization test. Students will learn the vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation found on the N-400 form and the 100 civics questions. People can sign up for the class herePlease contact with any questions.