News & Press: Newsletters

The Value of the Dollar, Global Hunger, & Social Media – All in the Next Few Weeks

Wednesday, May 8, 2019  
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Dear friends,

As the school year winds down and we celebrate moms and graduates, we also have a few wonderful visitors joining us in Kansas City for some conversations you won't want to miss:

  • Next Wednesday, May 15, Marc Chandler, a leading expert on global monetary policy, will offer insight into the impact of U.S. foreign policy on the value of the dollar.
  • World Food Program President & CEO Rick Leach will be here on Tuesday, May 21, for a discussion of global hunger and its connection to the American Breadbasket.

Many Great Decisions groups go on hiatus for the summer, but the IRC Book Club will be returning, with our thanks to conveners Jack McLaren and Howard Trilling. If you liked the Book Club's last selection from P.W. Singer, you might like his Like War: The Weaponization of Social Media, which will be the focus of the conversation on Tuesday, June 11.

If you're looking for additional ways to get involved in the community, you might consider some of the volunteer opportunities showcased below. We always welcome volunteers with the IRC, as well – we just ask that you sign up here » to signal your interest.

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

This week, the World Citizen Blog is a spotlight on the Ethnic Enrichment Commission », 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.

We are currently looking for sponsors for two upcoming events. If you or your organization would be interested in sponsoring, please contact Matthew Hughes at » or 816-423-2632. Many thanks for your support!


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 Open
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 »

Free Family Event
World Refugee Day – Saturday, June 22 – 11 a.m.-2 p.m. – Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences
At the IRC we talk about what's going on around the world and its connection to our local community. This year, the IRC is proud to partner with a range of area organizations to put on the 12th annual World Refugee Day celebration, a global event that recognizes the impact of refugees on our Kansas City community and beyond. Last year, more than 500 people, including refugees from 14 countries, attended and enjoyed entertainment, food, and fun for the whole family. Please join us! 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 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 »

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

German Conversation Group », presented by the Goethe Institute
Thursday, May 9 – 6-7:30 p.m. – Goethe in the Crossroads

May 9 Victory Day in WWII », presented by Russian House of Kansas City
Thursday, May 9 – 6 p.m. – Jewish Community Center

Special Screening of "The Pursuit" », presented by American Public Square
Thursday, May 9 –  6:30-8 p.m. – UMKC Student Theater

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

A Celebration of Folk Alliance International », presented by Folk Alliance International 
Wednesday, May 15 – 6-8 p.m. – Folk Alliance International Headquarters

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

World Trade Week 2019, presented by World Trade Council of WIchita
Thursday, May 16 – 6 p.m. – Wichita Marriott Hotel

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

Pop Up Film Haus: "Grill Point" », presented by the Goethe Institute
May 22 – 7 p.m. – Stray Cat Film Center

German Conversation Group », presented by the Goethe Institute
Thursday, May 30  6-7:30 p.m. – Goethe in the Crossroads

2019 Kansas International Trade Day », presented by K-State 
Tuesday, June 4 – 11 a.m.-5 p.m. – K-State Student Union

Go Global KC », presented by the World Trade Center
Thursday, June 6 – 4-6 p.m – Sporting KC - Children's Mercy Park

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.