News & Press: Newsletters

Networking on the Plaza Next Week

Wednesday, February 6, 2019  
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Dear friends,

We enjoyed an informative and insightful discussion of Canada today at Johnson County Community College as part of JCCC and the IRC's Closing the Global Gap series. Big thanks to Suzanne Maheu from JCCC and Dr. Jack MacLennan from Park University – both originally from Canada – who offered insights into some of Canada's domestic and foreign policies as well as the U.S.-Canada relationship. Please save the date for the next Closing the Global Gap program on India » on Wednesday, April 17.

Next Tuesday, February 12, IRC organizational member RSM will welcome us for a networking hour at their South Plaza offices. If you're new to the IRC community, this is an excellent way to get to know other IRC members and friends as well as ways to get involved with the IRC. It's a great chance to connect with RSM, too, and learn about their international accounting work. The event is free to attend; we just ask that you register to help with planning ».

The 2019 Berkley Lecture will be here in just over two weeks, on Monday, February 25. If you haven't already purchased your tickets for this lunchtime exploration of national security challenges in the next decade with Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, we encourage you to register soon. Individual tickets and whole tables, along with sponsorships, can be secured on the IRC website ». If you have dietary restrictions, please notify April » so the restaurant can make appropriate preparations.

We're looking for a few volunteers to help with the Academic WorldQuest tournament for high-school students on Saturday, February 23, at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park. If you have some time that day and are available from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., please contact April at » or 816-423-2632 to express your interest. It takes a good team each year to put on this event, and we're grateful for your support.

Thanks so much, as always, for your interest in international affairs and our incredible Kansas City community.

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

We'd like to express our thanks to the following individuals and organizations for joining or renewing their membership with the IRC in the month of January. If you would like to learn more about becoming an IRC memberplease visit our website » for more information.

Nonprofit Members
National Association of Asian American Professionals - Kansas City »

Education Members
University of Kansas Medical Center »

Individual and Family-Level Members
Family of Richard Atlas
Susan Bailey
Family of William and Maureen Berkley
Jim Borthwick
Jim Brown
Joshua Chittum
Family of Arleen Cook
Jennifer Day (Patron)

Family of Don Dickey
Steve Duxbury
Donald Gering
Bob Goodwillie
Maysee Herr
Raiya Jensen
Shakedra Knight
Family of Merleen Leonce
Robin Martinez
Holly Nielsen (Academy)
Lauren Obermueller
Paul Savastano (Emissary)
Carrie Sherer (Patron)
Becky Showmaker
Jill Sigler


Olivia Schmidt, Audio & Video Production Intern
Olivia Schmidt is currently in her last semester at the University of Kansas, graduating in May with a BSJ in Journalism and a minor in Global and International Studies. For the past year and a half she's been interning for Kansas Public Radio's Retro Cocktail Hour, interviewing a variety of people for the website's podcast extra series. She has also volunteered in editing video for Girl's Rock Lawrence, a community project aimed at empowering young female identifying musicians. Olivia also works at the University's student-run radio KJHK, helping to create video content of the live band performances. In the summer of 2017, she studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, gaining a larger global perspective and becoming addicted to visiting new corners of the world. Her goal is to find a way to travel full time while also assisting those in need.


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. 

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

Postponed due to weather – 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 – 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)

The Middle East: Regional Disorder – Tuesday, February 19 – 6:30-8 p.m. – Waldo Group (Tuesdays)
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center (4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110)

The Middle East: Regional Disorder – Thursday, February 21 – 6-8 p.m. – Overland Park Group
Johnson County Library – Leawood Pioneer (4700 Town Center Drive, Leawood, KS 66211)

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 »

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

Sister Cities Chinese New Year Celebration », presented by the Sister Cities Association
Tuesday, February 19 – 5-8 p.m. – American Jazz Museum

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

Discussion Group Series: International Trade in the 21st Century », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Wednesday, March 6 – 4-5:30 p.m. – Dole Institute, Lawrence

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

Articles for Peace Journalist Magazine
Peace Journalist magazine seeks articles for its April 2019 edition. Articles should be 500-1,500 words about peace and media projects, workshops, seminars, courses, and so on. The magazine is journalism and media focused, so they do not seek articles about general peace projects. The deadline for submissions if March 4. Feel free to submit photos as well.Questions should be directed to Steven Youngblood at

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 »


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 here. Please contact with any questions.