News & Press: Newsletters

World Trade Day Will Be Here Soon

Wednesday, May 1, 2019  
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Dear friends,

You know, even away from the borders and coasts, we really do live in an incredibly international community. On any given day, there are so many ways to engage other parts of the world from right here in Kansas City. Over the next few weeks, you'll find some IRC programs and other community events ready to deepen your global perspective and loop you in to KC's international network – and we'd love to have you join us.

The International Steering Committee, a group of internationally themed business support organizations in the metro area that includes the IRC, has once again put together a World Trade Day program, this time on Wednesday, May 15. Bannockburn Global Forex's chief market strategist, Marc Chandler, will offer his insights on the impact of foreign policy on the value of the U.S. dollar. If you haven't attended a World Trade Day event before, you should know that it's an excellent networking opportunity with KC's international business community as well as a great celebration of the value of trade. Registration is open via the link below.

We're really looking forward to the conversation with World Food Program USA President and CEO Rick Leach on Tuesday, May 21. Mr. Leach will explore the connections between global hunger and the Midwestern U.S., and we invite especially businesses and organizations working in spaces related to hunger, agriculture, food production, health, and nutrition to join us. Registration for the general public is open, and we do have sponsorship opportunities availablewith the special opportunity of a roundtable discussion with Mr. Leach. For more information on sponsoring the program, please contact Matthew ».

This past weekend, students from Shawnee Mission East High School traveled to Washington, D.C., for the national Academic WorldQuest competition put on by the World Affairs Councils of America. While they didn't take home top prize, they had a great time meeting other international enthusiasts from around the U.S. and taking in some historical sights. Our global education programming now turns its attention to the Your Global Future college and career fair, which we're planning for October. We'll have more information for you soon.

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 April. If you would like to learn more about becoming an IRC memberplease visit our website » for more information.

Individual and Family-Level Members

Janet Armstrong
Christina Arnone
Chad Bettes
George Blackwood
Jan Fakoury
Family of Alan & Pamela Felton
Betty Freeman-Boots
William & Irma Lou Hirsch (Academy)
Anita Johnson
Family of Bill & Jane Kloeckner
Bill Kort (Academy)
David Lusk
Family of Jeff & MJ Muchow
Linda Olvera
Family of Teresa Orr
Margot Patterson
Cecilia Raab
Family of John Shehane
Family of James Shetlar
Cynthia Siebert (Patron)
Cyprienne Simchowitz (Academy)
Family of Sharon Valasek


This week, the World Citizen Blog is a spotlight on the Russian Heritage Society », an IRC organizational member. 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.

The IRC is excited to participate in the World Refugee Day planning committee. We hope you can join us on Saturday, June 22, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., for this great annual event. World Refugee Day is a time for the community to come together to raise awareness of refugees at home and abroad. This year's celebration will include live entertainment, free food and drink, face painting, and fun activities for the whole family. This event is open to the public, refugees and non-refugees alike. Volunteers are needed to help facilitate the flow activities the day of the celebration. If you are interested in lending a helping hand, please email us » to get involved.


Sold Out
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 »

Registration Open
Hunger, History, and the Heartland: A Global Perspective
Tuesday, May 21 – 5:30-8 p.m. – KC Chamber Board Room at Union Station
Today, hunger impacts 821 million – one in every nine – people worldwide. The U.S. has a long, bipartisan history of leading the fight to end hunger, contributing both technical expertise and harvested food to countries around the world. The deepening challenges caused by hunger, which have moral, economic, and national security implications for the U.S., require sophisticated emergency responses and the development of long-term resiliency in communities in sometimes distant places. Join us as we welcome World Food Program USA President and CEO Rick Leach, who will discuss the causes, status, and prospects of global hunger and the special role America's Breadbasket continues to play in this effort. Read more and register »

Registration Open
News and Views: Community Conversations on the Latest International News – Thursday, May 23 – 5:30-6:30 p.m. – TBD
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
IRC Book Club: Like War: The Weaponization of Social Media – Tuesday, June 11 – 6:30-8 p.m. – Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
The IRC Book Club gives participants the opportunity to discuss foreign affairs, global topics, authors' perspectives, historical events, and their current local relevance in a respectful, engaging setting. Convened by seasoned Great Decisions leader Jack McLaren, the group meets every six to eight weeks to dig into a different author's work. 
Read more and register »

Registration Opening Soon
Great Decisions: Refugees and Global Migration 
Thursday, June 13 – 6:30-8 p.m. – WWI Museum and Memorial
In Europe alone, approximately 10 million people were displaced by World War I. In 2017, an unprecedented 68.5 million people worldwide had been forced to leave their homes, including more than 25 million by war and violence. Join president and CEO of the Museum and Memorial, Matthew Naylor, for a timely panel conversation with Nazanin Ash of the International Rescue Committee and Abdul Bakar of Della Lamb as they address the roots, realities, and prospects of refugees and global migration. Read more »

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, May 2 – 6 p.m. – Centered Spirit Group
Centered Spirit Cultural and Holistic Center (8131 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114)
Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics » – Thursday, May 2 – 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. – Waldo Group (Thursdays)
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center (4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110)
The Rise of Populism in Europe » – Thursday, May 9 – 2-3:30 p.m. – JCCC Group
Johnson County Community College, CoLab, OCB 107 (12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS 66210) 
The Rise of Populism in Europe » – Tuesday, May 14 – 6-8 p.m. – Dinner Group
Princess Garden Restaurant (8906 Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64114)
State of the State Department » – Tuesday, May 14 – 6:30-8 p.m. – Waldo Group (Tuesdays)
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 »

Yom Hashoah Community Commemorations, presented by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
Thursday, May 2 – 6:30 p.m. – Metropolitan Community College - Maple Woods

KC Jewish Film Festival: After Auschwitz, presented by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
Thursday, May 2 – 7:30 p.m. – Jewish Community Campus

Breakfast with Her Majesty’s Consul General of Chicago », presented by WTC-KC 
Friday, May 3 – 8-10 a.m. – Chamber Board Room, Union Station 

The Immigrant Experience », presented by All Sours Choir
Monday, May 6 – 7 p.m. – All Sours Unitarian Universalist Church

Immigration: How Did We Get Here? », presented by Jewish Vocational Service 
Thursday, May 9 – 5-6:30 p.m. – 4600 the Paseo (KCMO)

Annual Ramadan Interfaith Iftaar, presented by the Islamic Center of Johnson County 
Thursday, May 9 – 7:30 p.m. 

New American Welcome Center Luncheon, presented by the YMCA of Greater Kansas City 
Friday, May 10 – 11:30 a.m. – North Kansas City YMCA

North America Regional Trade Update », presented by EDCKC
Monday, May 13 – 2:30-4:30 p.m. – KC Chamber Board Room

Immigration and Popular Culture (Part of Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series) », presented by the Kansas City Public Library
Monday, May 13 – 6:30 p.m. – KCPL Central Library

Global Ties KC 2019 Annual Celebration, presented by Global Ties KC
Thursday, May 16 – 6-8 p.m. – Union Station

3rd Friday: Block Chain: What Is It and How Is It Influencing International Trade? », presented by the International Trade Council of GKC 
Friday, May 17 – 7:30 a.m. – Wyandotte Economic Development Council

Concert: Der Lange Schatten »presented by the Goethe Institute
Monday, May 20  7 p.m. – Blue Room Jazz Club

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.

JVS Seeks Mentors for Refugee Youth
Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) seeks adults (21+) to mentor refugee youth (ages 15-24) in the pilot cohort of the JVS Youth Mentor Program. The Youth Mentor Program promotes positive civic and social engagement and supports individual educational and vocational advancement for refugee youth within the first 5 years of their arrival in the United States. Mentors will connect with youth from June through September in 8 one-on-one career-focused sessions and 2 group education and leadership development events. To learn more about mentoring at JVS, contact Sarah Tomas Morgan at

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 »

English for Citizenship Class
The next session of the Kansas City Public Library’s RISE division English for Citizenship class starts on Wednesday, May 8th. This 12-week course occurs every Wednesday night from 6-8 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at the Central Library (14 W 10th St, KCMO). This class is designed to help patrons develop the language skills necessary to pass the USCIS naturalization test. Students will be taught the vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation found on the N-400 form and the 100 civics questions.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact RISE via email at or call 816.701.3766.

Perspectives on the Holocaust: A Course for Educators
June 24-June 27, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education will host this course examining the experience of the Holocaust through a few of the perspectives of those who lived through it. Workshops will focus on the policy and experience of perpetration based on geography – specifically focusing on western Europe. A registration fee of $60 includes all necessary materials and lunch each day. Registration is available at

Battlefield Tours with the WWI Museum
Gallipoli remains one of the most iconic and evocative battlefields in modern history. Join the National WWI Museum and Memorial on a trip to the sweeping Turkish coast and explore history among beautiful beaches and rocky hills. This is your opportunity to experience history first-hand and walk in the footsteps of the soldiers from Gallipoli. Clive Harris and Mike St Maur Sheil will lead this intimate tour on October 10-15, 2019. Please see » or contact for more information or to register.