News & Press: Newsletters

Discuss European Elections This Week

Wednesday, May 22, 2019  
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Dear friends,

Representatives from World Food Program USA enjoyed their visit to Kansas City this week, and we appreciated everyone who participated in meaningful conversations on global hunger and its local relevance. Special thanks to Bob Petersen and the KC Agricultural Business Council, Stinson Law Firm, World Trade Center-Kansas City, and IRC board member Stephen Steigman who moderated Tuesday's program.

Tomorrow (Thursday) evening, our next News & Views discussion – this time on 2019 European elections – will be held in Waldo. This series brings together a small group of community members for respectful, substantive discussion around one of that week’s top international new stories. If you enjoy getting to know other IRC members, this is the perfect opportunity. But do register a.s.a.p. to save your spot – just a few spaces remain.

Please take a look below for our June programs as well as so many other ways to plug in to Kansas City's international community in the coming weeks. We're going to be sharing some volunteer opportunities soon, too, so please stay tuned.

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

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 Closing 
News and Views: 2019 European Elections – Thursday, May 23 – 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Kokoro Maki House
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. This month's topic will be 2019 European elections. 
With issues like trade and Brexit looming large, the 2019 elections to the European Parliament could reshape the European Union for a generation. The stability of the EU has already shifted dramatically since the last elections, held 5 years ago. The United Kingdom's 2016 referendum to leave the EU was just one of many challenges; an immigration crisis in 2015, electoral success of euroskeptic parties in many countries, and continued tension with Russia have all complicated the European project. Come join us to discuss these and other issues that make this month's European elections relevant to the whole global community. 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. 

Decoding U.S-China Trade – Thursday, May 30 – 12-1 p.m. – Downtown Group
Stinson Leonard Street Law Firm (1201 Walnut St., Suite 2900, Kansas City, MO 64106)

State of the State Department and Diplomacy – Thursday, June 6 – 11:45 a.m.– Waldo Group (Thursdays)
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center (4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110)

Decoding U.S.-China Trade – Thursday, June 6 – 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 future IRC newsletters, please contact Matthew Hughes »

Info Session on Graduate Degrees in Public and International Affairs, presented by Princeton University 
Wednesday, May 22 – 12-2 p.m. – Historic Dillon House (Topeka, KS)

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

15th Annual Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festival », presented by the Society for Friendship with China
Saturday, June 8 – 10 a.m. – Country Club Plaza

Export Distributor Agreement Seminar », presented by the U.S. Commercial Service 
Thursday, June 13 – 9-11:30 a.m. – World Trade Center

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