News & Press: Newsletters

Have Some Time to Volunteer?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019  
Share |

Dear friends,

We're getting excited to welcome delegates from around the country to next week's World Affairs Councils of America Leadership Meeting! Executives and board members from our sister councils in Portland, Houston, Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and other U.S. cities will be joining us for a time of connection, reflection, and learning – and, in many cases, visiting Kansas City for the first time. We're still looking for some friendly faces to welcome our visitors and support the meeting in a variety of ways. If you have some time between Thursday, June 13, and Saturday, June 15, and would like to meet these WACA delegates, please be in touch with April ». We appreciate your support!

Next week on the calendar you'll find two free IRC programs, and you're most welcome to join us for either or both. On Tuesday, the IRC Book Club will consider the weaponization of social media. Even if you haven't read the book (details below), feel free to drop by for the conversation. Then, on Thursday, we'll be at the World War I Museum for the second annual Great Decisions Forum, this year on refugees and global migration. Dr. Matthew Naylor from the WWI Museum will moderate a conversation with Nazanin Ash of the International Rescue Committee and Abdul Bakar of Della Lamb Community Services, who himself was a refugee. Both programs promise to be substantive and to leave you thinking – please join us.

Later in June, we'll have another News & Views community discussion program. Participants have mentioned how much they enjoy the smaller setting for these conversations and the chance to get to know other attendees, so if you have yet to participate in an IRC program, this could be a great place to start.

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

This week, the World Citizen Blog is a 
spotlight on IRC member Alan Felton »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 May. If you would like to learn more about becoming an IRC member, please visit our website » for more information.

Corporate Members
Miller & Company P.C.

Educational Partner Members
Park University

Nonprofit Members
Global and Multicultural Education Center
Owen/Cox Dance Group
Russian House of Kansas City
YMCA of Greater Kansas City

Individual Members
Mithra Amaran
Daniel Assyia
Frederick Baehner
Inga Barringer

Jamie Curtis
Donna Gordon
Jay Haden
Michael Hernandez (Academy)
Christine Hughes (Academy)
Ross & Elizabeth Lillard (Patron)
Jack McLaren
Karen Nielsen
Family of Col. Rick Randolph
Dr. Glenn Schoenfish
Terry Smitka
Tim Stevens
Family of Mark Stowell
Sarah Taylor
Dr. Larry Yates (Patron)
Dr. Karenbeth Zacharias (Academy)



Garrett Booth, Digital Resources Intern
Garrett Booth, a native of Wathena, Kansas, is an undergrad at the University of Saint Mary studying History and Political Science. His main area of interest is international relations, and in particular learning from and speaking to people from other cultures. His academic study helped cultivat
e this interest, such has his work with Project WE, an initiative wherein students from the University of Saint Mary would conduct an online correspondence with undergrads from a Russian university, with the goal of learning culturally and personally from one another. Upon graduation, Garrett looks forward to pursuing a career in the U.S. Government, working within the field of international relations through either the Foreign Service or the Department of State.


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 »

IRC Member Benefit 
Cover to Cover: Featuring Sheila Smith 
– Wednesday, June 19 – 1-1:30 p.m. – via conference call
Join us for this call with Sheila Smith, author of Japan Rearmed: The Politics of Military Power. Japan’s U.S.–imposed postwar constitution renounced the use of offensive military force, but, as Sheila Smith shows, a nuclear North Korea and an increasingly assertive China have the Japanese rethinking that commitment, and their reliance on United States security. 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
News & Views: Community Conversations on the Latest International News – Thursday, June 20 – 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Kansas City, KS (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. Facilitated by a seasoned member of the International Relations Council, the group meets in different informal settings around town, like a happy hour on the Plaza, for a guided conversation about a topic and articles that we’ll share just a few days in advance. Individuals of all backgrounds, interests, and perspectives are welcome – we just ask that you bring an open mind, thoughtful questions, and common courtesy. Registration is free but helps us with planning; individuals cover their own food and drinks. 
Read more and register »

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.

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)

Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics – Tuesday, June 11 – 6-8 p.m. – Dinner Group 
Princess Garden Restaurant (8906 Wornall, 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 »

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

Slavic Festival »
Friday, June 7 – 5-11 p.m. – Mike Onka Memorial Building Grounds 

Slavic Festival »
Saturday, June 8 – 3-11 p.m. – Mike Onka Memorial Building Grounds 

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

Ambassador Dirk Wouters », presented by the Dole Institute 
Thursday, June 13 – 2-3:30 p.m. – Dole Institute

WWI "Tree of Peace" Planting, presented by Czech Slovak Club 
Friday, June 21 – 3 p.m.-5 p.m. – National WWI Museum 

Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia », presented by the Dole Institute 
Thursday, August 1 – 3-4:30 p.m. – Dole Institute

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.

Host Families Needed for Youth This Weekend
GlobalTies has an incredible group of Scouts from El Salvador who are in Kansas City for the next three weeks. Right now, they are at Camp Naish. Saturday, June 8, they are moving in with host families. The organization is still short families for 10 of the young men in the group. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Courtney Brooks 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.