News & Press: Newsletters

How About a Wine Tasting?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019  
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Dear friends,

It was such a pleasure to welcome Ambassador Thomas Pickering back to Kansas City last week. He spoke to more than 100 students at Shawnee Mission East High School on careers in foreign service, met with members of the United Nations Association, spoke to International Relations students at William Jewell College, and toured the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art – all before his evening program at Polsinelli! Thanks to everyone who came out to hear his perspective on Iran and the larger Middle East. If you weren't able to attend, you might enjoy this radio interview » Amb. Pickering did with KCUR's Brian Ellison.

Tomorrow evening it's time for WorldQuest! Co-hosts Mike Wood and KCPT's Nick Haines have their questions ready to go, and more than 30 area teams are geared up for friendly competition. We've had some last-minute cancelations, which means some open seats, so if you're still looking to participate, here's your chance. Please contact April » a.s.a.p. to reserve your spot. Proceeds from ticket sales and raffle tickets and donations at the event go to support the IRC's global education programs for K-12 students. If you'd like to make a donation online, you're welcome to do so here ». Thank you for your support!

Next week, Director General Jerry Chang will be in town from Denver to help us understand the significance of the Taiwan Relations Act as it turns 40. Professor Virginia Harper Ho from KU and Dr. Jeffrey Pickering from K-State will be there as well to talk about U.S.-Taiwan relations. This program at the downtown library is free and open to the public. We just ask that you register to help with planning. Information is available below.

We've just opened a Global Experience for May 1, and if you're over 21 and like wine, you won't want to miss it. KC-area Sur del Mundo imports company will share samples of four excellent Chilean wines with us, and we'll pair a select small plate with each for a great culinary experience. This is a wonderful chance to get to know other members of the IRC or get to know the IRC better. We'll be at the Marriott in Overland Park and would love to see you there! Registration is open now »

Do take a look at some of the other wonderful community events taking place over the next few weeks, and check out the volunteer opportunities at the end of this email while you're at it. Thanks so much for your support of the International Relations Council.

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

This week, the World Citizen Blog is a 
book review of Bioviolence: Preventing Biological Terror and Crime ». 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.

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 March. If you would like to learn more about becoming an IRC member, please visit our website » for more information.

Educational Members
William Jewell College »
University of Kansas »

Individual and Family-Level Members
John Becker
Melody Burns
Family of Marlin Cone
Amy Davis
Larry Eisenhauer
George Heiser
Summer Javadi
Family of Ruth Kunakhovich
Marilyn Larkin

Rachel Lary
Family of Daniel Mahanty
Tina Mahat-Fulvi (Patron)
Christopher McKinney
Barbara Minter
Family of Dr. Emmanuel Ngomsi
Family of Dr. Daniel Ostergaard
Rhoda Payne
Sean Quinlan
Family of Chuck Ritter
Ella Rose
Jim Scott
Amarilis Valdez-Dempsey
Family of Cheryl Weber
Mike and Maggie Wood (Academy)
Guillermo Zorogastua



Limited Seats Available
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 »

IRC Member Benefit 
Cover to Cover: Featuring Beth Gardiner 
– Wednesday, April 10– 1-1:30 p.m. – via conference call
This Cover to Cover will feature author and journalist Beth Gardiner on her upcoming book, Choked: Life and Breathe in the Age of Air Pollution
Gardiner travels the world to tell the story of this modern-day plague, taking readers from the halls of power in Washington and the diesel-fogged London streets she walks with her daughter to Poland’s coal heartland and India’s gasping capital. In a gripping narrative that’s alive with powerful voices and personalities, she exposes the political decisions and economic forces that have kept so many of us breathing dirty air. 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 Matthew ».

Registration Open
U.S.-Taiwan Relations as the Taiwan Relations Act Turns 40  – 
Wednesday, April 10 – 5:45-8 p.m.  – Helzberg Auditorium

Signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on April 10, 1979, and reaffirmed several times since, the Taiwan Relations Act is the primary guiding document for bilateral relations between the United States and Taiwan. 40 years later to the day, in light of continuing developments on Taiwan, it is worth examining the state of relations with the United States' 11th largest trading partner (3rd largest import partner for Kansas, 6th largest for Missouri). 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 »

Registration Open
News and Views: Community Conversations on the Latest International News – Wednesday, April 24 – 5:30-6:30 p.m. – CommuniTea
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
Global Experience: A Tour of Chile Through Wine 
Wednesday, May 1 – 5:30-7 p.m.  – Marriott Overland Park
The IRC's Global Experience series asks, "What's your global story? Do you get the chance to share it?" Join the International Relations Council and Sur del Mundo Imports Company, a KC-area importer of boutique wines and foods from the Southern Hemisphere, for a tour of Chile through wine. Chile is one of the world’s largest producers of wine, where it has been made since the 1500s. You'll learn about the history and the current landscape of the Chilean wine industry and the role the industry plays in Chile's broader economic, social, and geopolitical landscape; hear the personal stories of the founders of Sur del Mundo Imports; and, have the chance to taste four different Chilean wines (one white, three reds). Paired with each wine will be a specially designed small plate to complement and enhance the wine's flavor profile. At the end of the tasting, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy a full glass of your favorite tasted wine.  Read more and register »

Registration Open
World Trade Day: The Impact of Foreign Policy on the Value of the Dollar –
Wednesday, May 15 – 3:30-6 p.m. – RSM
What do monetary policy in Europe, Brexit, and instability in the Korean Peninsula have to do with your purchasing power? Likely, more than you think. As cities across the U.S. celebrate World Trade Week, join the Kansas City International Steering Committee to celebrate Greater Kansas City’s 6th annual World Trade Day, an event focused on the importance of global trade and the recognition of our region's international business community. 
 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 Rise of Populism in Europe » – Thursday, April 4 – 11:45-1:15 p.m.  – Waldo Group (Thursdays)
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center (4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110)

Nuclear Negotiations: Back the the Future? »  – Thursday, April 4 – 6 p.m. –Centered Spirit Group
Centered Spirit Cultural and Holistic Center (8131 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114)
Decoding U.S.-China Trade »  – Tuesday, April 9 – 6-8 p.m. – Waldo Group (Tuesdays)
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center (4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110)

Nuclear Negotiations: Back to the Future? » – Tuesday, April 9 – 6-8 p.m. – Dinner Group 
Princess Garden Restaurant (8906 Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64114)
Nuclear Negotiations: Back to the Future? » – Thursday, April 11 – 2-3:30 p.m. – JCCC Group
Johnson County Community College, CoLab, OCB 107 (12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS 66210) 

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 »

Discussion Group Series: International Trade in the 21st Century », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Wednesday, April 3 – 4-5:30 p.m. – Dole Institute, Lawrence

Multicultural Business Coalition Tour Week », presented by the Multicultural Business Coalition
Monday, April 8 – 2 p.m. 

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

WTC USMCA Impact Webinar », presented by WTC KC 
Tuesday, April 9 – 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. – Webinar

The French Art of Tea with Emilie Jackson », presented by Centered Spirit 
Wednesday, April 10 – 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. – Central Exchange Downtown

Speaker Series: Refugee Journey Stories », presented by JVS 
Wednesday, April 10 – 5-6:30 p.m. – 4600 The Paseo

Special Event Screening: The Black Mambas », presented by the Kansas City Zoo 
Thursday, April 11 – 6:30 p.m. 

MBC Week: Breakfast with International Leaders », presented by GlobalTies KC 
Thursday, April 12 – 8-9:30 a.m. – NEKC Chamber

Russian Movie Night: Ward #6 », presented by KU Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies 
Friday, April 12 –  6-9 p.m. – Regnier Hall

Turkic Food Fest, presented by the Dialogue Institute
Saturday, April 13 – 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. –  Dialogue Institute of the Southwest-Kansas City

Russian-American Festival », presented by Russian Heritage Society
Sunday, April 14 – 3-7 p.m. – Shawnee, KS

North America Nabka Tour, presented by Avila 
Tuesday, April 16 – 6 p.m. – Avila 

Earth Day Festival, presented by KC Global Concepts 
April 19 – 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – UMKC Pierson Hall

Community Second Night of Passover Seder, presented by Rabbinical Association of GKC and Jewish Family Services  
Saturday, April 20 –  6:30 p.m. –  Ohev Sholom

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

International Medication Lecture: Refugee Care Following ISIS, presented by UMKC School of Medicine 
Tuesday, April 23 – Theater C

Free Trade Zone Seminar », presented by WTC-KC 
Tuesday, April 23 – 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – WTC-KC Conference Room

Comida KC », presented by the Hispanic Collaborative
Thursday, April 25 – 6-10 p.m. – Union Station

Save the Date: Diplomatic Ball », presented by the Ethnic Enrichment Commission 
Saturday, April 27 – 5:30 p.m.-2 a.m. – Kansas City Marriott Downtown

Youth Diplomats Retreat: Activating the Next Generation of Global Citizens », presented by Global Ties KC
Saturday, April 27 – 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – Union Station

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

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.

2019 Comida KC Volunteers
Comida KC (Thursday, April 25, 2019), is an event created by Eric Negrete Design, as the first Latin American event of Culinary Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, showing a cultural variety of different countries through its dance, music and unique dishes. It is noteworthy that the proceeds from the event will be used for educational, civic and business development offered by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and its sister organization nonprofit, Kansas City Hispanic Collaborative programs. Please arrive 15- 20 minutes to your shift, so that you can check in and be briefed on your expectations. Volunteers interested in the registration spots must attend a training a week prior to the event. Click here to sign up »

Rotary Youth Exchange Seeks Host Families
Rotary Youth Exchange is seeking host families for high school age foreign exchange students for the 2019 - 2020 school year starting August 1, 2019. Student applicants currently seeking placement come from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Italy, Peru, and Taiwan. RYE likes to have at least two and preferably three host families for each student, so a host family doesn’t have to commit to a full year of hosting. Contact David Beck (785) 817-0144, or Stephen Wheatley for more information about hosting a student. More information about Rotary Youth Exchange is available at

Peace Journalist Publication Released
The Peace Journalist is dedicated to disseminating news and information for and about teachers, stu­dents, and practitioners of peace and conflict sensitive journalism. Click here » to read the April 2019 edition.