News & Press: Newsletters

Provinces & Policy: Learn About Canada Next Week

Wednesday, January 30, 2019  
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Dear friends,

It's tough to believe now, but it looks like we'll be above freezing by the time tomorrow's rescheduled Megaregions and the Future of Transportation program begins at the KU Edwards Campus! If you haven't registered yet for the program, please do so on the IRC website ». All are welcome for this important conversation.

Next week we're excited to bring back a popular program series with our friends at Johnson County Community College. If you have some time in the middle of the day next Wednesday, February 6, please join us for Closing the Global Gap: Canada. Two Canadian transplants – Suzanne Maheu, homestay and community services coordinator for international and immigrant students at JCCC, and Dr. Jack MacLennan, assistant professor of political science at Park University – will offer their perspectives on Canada and the U.S.-Canada relationship. The program is free and open to the public and will be held in the Co-Lab on the first floor of the OCB. (Check out this campus map for location information »)

Our next networking hour will be on Tuesday, February 12, with IRC members RSM at their South Plaza office. We'll bring the refreshments, and you bring the business cards! This is a great chance to learn about RSM's international accounting work, make new connections, and get to know the IRC better. More information for this and other upcoming programs is available below.

We'll be sending a separate announcement soon, but we did want to share that registration for the 2019 Berkley Lecture with Ambassador Paula Dobriansky on Monday, February 25, is now open. You're welcome to purchase individual tickets or tables of ten for this timely discussion of national security challenges the U.S. can anticipate in the next decade. You can learn more from IRC Vice President Holly Nielsen's recent blog post ». We hope to see you there!

Stay warm, everyone!

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

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


Camille Meeks, Community Intern
Camille Meeks was born and raised in Liberty, Missouri, and remains in the Kansas City area completing her senior year at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. She studies Psychology and Languages & Literatures with an emphasis in Spanish. In fall 2018, Camille spent the semester abroad in Granada, Spain, studying at El Centro de Lenguas Modernas (The Center of Modern Languages) to hone her Spanish abilities and further her studies. After graduation, Camille intends to pursue a Master’s degree in counseling, hoping to eventually serve as a member care provider for missionaries living abroad.


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 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
High-schoolers, 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: National Security Challenges in the Next Decade – 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. 
Read more and register »

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 »

Registration Open
Closing the Global Gap: India – Wednesday, April 17 – Johnson County Community College
"Closing the Global Gap" is a series of conversations designed to address perceptions and realities of working and living across culture and language. The series is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by Johnson County Community College and International Relations Council. The series should stimulate meaningful conversations based on personal experiences in foreign countries from academic and business points of view. Each program will feature a JCCC faculty member or student as well as a professional from the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Closing the Global Gap: India will look at the role of women in responding to social and environmental issues in India, as well as the day-to-day struggles and experiences of people living in this diverse country. 
Read more and register »

Great Decisions is America's largest discussion program on world affairs. The program involves reading the Great Decisions briefing book » and meeting to discuss the most critical international issues facing the United States and the global community.

Below is a listing of some of the upcoming groups that are open to the public. Feel free to drop in to any groups of interest to you! Questions regarding these groups? Please email April » for help.

Refugees and Global Migration  – Thursday, January 31  – 12-1 p.m. – Downtown Group
Stinson Leonard Street Law Firm (1201 Walnut St., Suite 2900, Kansas City, MO 64106)

The United States and Mexico: Partnership Tested – Thursday, January 31 – 2-3:30 p.m. – JCCC Group
Johnson County Community College, CoLab, OCB 107 (12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS 66210) 

Refugees and Global Migration – Tuesday, February 5 – 6:30-8 p.m. – Waldo Group (Tuesdays)
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center (4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110)

Refugees and Global Migration – Thursday, February 7 – 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. – Waldo Group (Thursdays)
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center (4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110)

Refugees and Global Migration – Thursday, February 7 – 6 p.m. – Centered Spirit Group
Centered Spirit Cultural and Holistic Center (8131 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO 64114)

Refugees and Global Migration  – Tuesday, February 12  – 6-8 p.m. – Dinner Group
Princess Garden Restaurant (8906 Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64114)

Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics – Thursday, February 14  – 2-3:30 p.m – JCCC Group
Johnson County Community College, CoLab, OCB 107 (12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS 66210) 

The Middle East: Regional Disorder – Thursday, February 14 – 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. – Waldo Group (Thursdays)
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center (4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110)

For a full listing of 2019 group meetings, visit the IRC website ».

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 »

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 »

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 70UMKC 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 »


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

Great Decisions: Teacher Training Institute
The Foreign Policy Association is seeking high school teachers with demonstrated commitment to international education to take part in its annual Great Decisions Teacher Training Institute. Teachers chosen will reflect geographically diverse high schools from around the continent and will be chosen on a competitive basis. Join us for four days of strengthening skills in teaching global affairs, exploring ways to expand international studies in the classroom, building professional support networks, and developing International Studies curricula. Click here for more information »

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.