News & Press: Newsletters

Last Chance to Register for Monday's Program on National Security Challenges

Wednesday, February 20, 2019  
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Dear friends,

In the next few days, different parts of the IRC community will come together for some important events. On Saturday, high-school teams from around the area will meet at the KU Edwards Campus will take up the gauntlet of Academic WorldQuest, aiming to be the team from our region that goes to Washington, D.C., for the national tournament. We wish them the very best of luck! And on Monday, Ambassador Paula Dobriansky will join us at Grand Street Café for the annual Berkley Lecture – this year on national security challenges in the next decade. Online registration is closing today, but we may have a few seats left; to check availability, please email April » at your earliest convenience.

Next Thursday, February 28, at Sol Cantina in Midtown, we'll have our first News & Views gathering, which will bring together a small group of community members for respectful, substantive discussion around one of that week’s top international new stories. We haven't announced the topic just yet, but you can read more and register here » to be added to the list. Please note that registration is limited to 15 participants and may fill up soon.

We have speakers on some timely topics visiting in March. Registration is open for Brexit & the Future of Europe with Amanda Sloat from Brookings (Wednesday, March 13) as well as A U.S. Perspective on Iran and the Larger Middle East with Ambassador Thomas Pickering (Wednesday, March 27). Both events will be held on the Plaza. Please see below for more information.

Registration is open for WorldQuest (Thursday, April 4), too! This global trivia night fosters some friendly competition over dinner, drinks, and fabulous prizes. Tables are going fast (we're already half full), so we encourage you to take a look at the details » and sign up soon.

Did you know the IRC is part of a nationwide network of councils, the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) »? We love when we can connect with our sister councils and when we have special opportunities to share with you as a result:

  • Kansas City has been selected to host the 2019 WACA leadership meeting in June! We're so excited to showcase our community, partners, and members while we welcome council leaders from around the country. If you're interested in getting involved and making this an excellent experience for all involved, please contact Matthew ».
  • There is a unique 30-day scholarship opportunity for one university student to live and experience Brazil this summer through immersion in the culture, education, and language. See below for details. Applications are due Tuesday, March 12.
  • Our 2018 honoree for International Statesmanship, Ambassador Bill Burns, has written a new book, which is being featured in a March Cover to Cover conference call with WACA. Please see below for information on how you can participate in this call with Ambassador Burns.

We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming program. Many thanks for your continued support.

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632


This week, the World Citizen Blog is a 
spotlight on long-time IRC member Miller & Company ». 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.




Registration Closing
Academic WorldQuest 2019 – Saturday, February 23 – 12-4 p.m. – 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 Closing
Berkley Lecture: National Security Challenges in the Next Decade – Monday, February 25 – 12-1:30 p.m. – 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 »

New Program Series
News and Views: Community Conversations on the Latest International News – 
Thursday, February 28 – 5-6 p.m. – Sol Cantina
Today, international news stories can change from minute to minute, and lectures and panel discussions can’t always dive in to the latest developments. News & Views, a new conversation-based series from the International Relations Council, brings together a small group of community members for respectful, substantive discussion around one of that week’s top international new stories. We'll announce the timely topic, facilitator, and suggested articles earlier that week to give everyone a chance to prepare for the conversation. Read more and register »

Registration Open
Brexit and the Future of Europe 
– Wednesday, March 13 – 5:30-8 p.m. – 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. Read more and register »

IRC Member Benefit 
Cover to Cover: Featuring Amb. Bill Burns 
– Thursday, March 21– 1-1:30 p.m. – via conference call
Over the course of more than three decades as an American diplomat, William J. Burns played a central role in the most consequential diplomatic episodes of his time. In The Back Channel, Burns recounts, with novelistic detail and incisive analysis, some of the seminal moments of his career. 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
A U.S. Perspective on Iran and the Larger Middle East 
– Wednesday, March 27 – 5:45-8 p.m. – Polsinelli
Iran remains an enigma to many in the West over concerns about their nuclear weapons program, domestic governance issues, and destabilizing behavior in neighboring countries. The United States has recently changed course in its Iran policy, withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal and implementing crippling new sanctions to constrain the Iranian regime. Ambassador Thomas Pickering will explore 2019 realities in Iran, the Middle East, and U.S. strategy in the region. He will discuss the role diplomacy can play at a time of change and escalating tensions in the Middle East.
 Read more and register »

Registration Open
WorldQuest 2019 – Thursday, April 4 – 6-9 p.m. – 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. Read more and register »

Registration Open
Closing the Global Gap: India – Wednesday, April 17 – 12-1 p.m. – 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.

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)

The Middle East: Regional Disorder – Thursday, February 28 – 12-1 p.m. – Downtown Group
Stinson Leonard Street Law Firm (1201 Walnut St., Suite 2900, Kansas City, MO 64106)

The Middle East: Regional Disorder (Guest Facilitated by Brian Steed) – Thursday, February 28 – 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 – Tuesday, March 5 – 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, March 7 – 6 p.m. – Centered Spirit Group
Centered Spirit Cultural and Holistic Center (8131 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114)

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 futureIRC newsletters, please contact Matthew Hughes »

Refugee and Immigrant Forum
Thursday, February 21 – 5-6:30 p.m. – JVS

Negotiating Trade with China », presented by the World Trade Council of Wichita 
Thursday, February 21 – 6-9 p.m. – Wichita Marriott Hotel

German Film Festival: Greetings from Fukushima, presented by the Hannover Committee
Thursday, February 21  6 p.m.  KC Library, Waldo Branch

4th Friday: Intellectual Property in the Global Marketplace », presented by the International Trade Council 
Friday, February 22 – 7:30-9 a.m. – Husch Blackwell

Health, Welfare, & Nursing in Japan, presented by KU Med
Friday, February 22 – 12 p.m. – 1050 SON

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

Worldview and Identity Workshop, presented by GlobalFC 
Monday, February 25 6:30-8 pm. GRACEWAY

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

A Conversation with Former Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, presented by KU Department of Economics
Friday, March 1 – 3-5 p.m. – Spencer Art Museum

Mahjong and Desserts », presented by KC Merlions
Saturday, March 2  – 4-6 p.m.  – Coffee Talk

Business Essentials: Protecting Intellectual Property », presented the U.S. Commercial Service
Tuesday, March 5 – 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. – Union Station

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

German Film Festival: Goethe!», presented by Hanover Committee of the Sister City Association of Kansas City
Saturday, March 9 – 1-4 p.m. – Penn Valley Community College

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

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

German Film Festival: Gerhard Richter Painting, presented by the Hannover Committee
Thursday, March 21  6 p.m

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


Barbara Dolci Scholarship
Global Ties KC is once again offering a $500 scholarship to a student who is pursuing opportunities related to international affairs. The scholarship is open to all students and will be awarded at our Annual Celebration the evening of May 16th. The scholarship is intended to be used for study abroad, furthering studies in the international field, and service and international travel related to education and humanitarian aid. Click here to read more ».

WACA-Liaison America Scholarship Opportunity
The World Affairs Councils of America is delighted to announce the Liaison America Trent Argo International Scholarship for a 30-day study tour in Brazil for one lucky student ambassador. This scholarship will be an immersive experience in culture, language, education, and international affairs in the city of Goiânia, one of the richest agricultural districts and a key player in the production of sugar, rum, coffee, tobacco, cotton, cattle, hides, and castor oil. Goiânia is located the state of Goiás, where Brasília, the capital of Brazil, is also located. Goiás is a strong, well-structured state that is growing both socially and economically. The scholarship recipient will have the opportunity to meet with university students, business and government leaders, and others who are making a positive change locally and globally. Email Matthew Hughes » for application instructions. Apply by Tuesday, March 12.

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.

Host Families Needed for Academic Exchange Program
AYUSA Global Youth Exchange is now accepting host family applications for the 2019-2020 school year.  AYUSA is an academically focused high school program with stringent testing and interview requirements for students who wish to study in the USA.  Students are required to maintain a C or better in every class, and are required to take American History, English, math and science classes.  Students are expected to follow all program and family rules, and be contributing members to the host school and community by presenting a positive attitude and completing community service when possible.  Students are provided health insurance while on program.  It is not required that host families have high school aged kids living in the home.  Please consider sharing your America and making a student's dreams come true!!  If you're interested in hosting, contact Kerri Craven or visit for more information

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 »

Liaison America Student Exchange Programs for Councils Webinar
WACA will host a webinar led by Liaison America so that Council leaders and program staff can learn more about he opportunity to partner with Liaison America in hosting one of their groups of Brazilian high school students. These are exceptional students with a diverse set of talents who will share their culture and projects during their educational exchange programs in the United States. Email Drew Lorelli to register.

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. This event will occur July 8-12, 2019. Click here for more information »