News & Press: Newsletters

Conflict & Cooperation in Space

Wednesday, June 12, 2019  
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Dear friends,

Thanks to everyone who joined the IRC Book Club this evening to discuss the June selection on the weaponization of social media, and special thanks to IRC member Ella Rose who led the discussion. If there's a particular topic you'd like to see covered at the IRC Book Club, feel free to let Matthew know ». The group will meet again on Wednesday, August 7, and will discuss James Clay Moltz's recent book, Crowded Orbits: Conflict and Cooperation in Space. You'll find a link to register below.

This Thursday, as we welcome World Affairs Council representatives from around the country to Kansas City, we invite you to join us for the second annual Great Decisions Forum held in conjunction with the National WWI Museum and Memorial. This year's program will dive into the topic of refugees and global migration with the help of experts from the International Rescue Committee and KC's own Della Lamb Community Services. Registration and a reception begin at 6 p.m., followed by the program at 6:30. Best of all, the program is free to attend; we just ask you to register on the WWI Museum's website ». We value the chance to work with community partners like the WWI Museum and thank them and all our program sponsors » for their generous support.

We also appreciate the many volunteers who are working hard to make the World Affairs Councils of America national meeting possible. If you have some time on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday this week and have not yet been in touch with April, please email her to let her know ».

Next week will see the June installment of the News & Views discussion series, and we'll join other community groups at the end of next week to mark World Refugee Day. Please find more information on both opportunities below.

Thanks so much for your support of the IRC.

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

This week, the World Citizen Blog is a about 
Kansas City Latino history and culture »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.


Engoma Fataki, Events Intern
Engoma Fataki is a junior studying Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Peace and Conflict Resolution at Missouri Western State University, where he was elected as Student Body President for 2019-2020. He is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He and his family lived in refugee camps in Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. They came to the United States in October 2014, and he quickly embraced the opportunities that the Kansas City community offered, becoming involved at his high school, church, Jewish Vocational Services (JVS), local Rotary Clubs, and other organizations. Engoma was nominated by the International Relations Council and named as one of 25 student scholars by the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) and invited to attend the WACA National Conference in Washington, D.C., in November 2018. He has previously served as Ethnic Young Adult Intern in Washington, D.C., and participated in the 2016 Global Youth Consultation hosted by the Women’s Refugee Commission and UN High Commissioner for Refugees. His ultimate goal is to work with an international organization such as the UN or a nonprofit organization.


Registration Closing
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 »

Registration Open
IRC Book Club: Crowded Orbits: Conflict and Cooperation in Space – Wednesday, August 7 – 6:30-8 p.m. – Kauffman Foundation
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. Space has become increasingly crowded since the end of the Cold War, with new countries, companies, and even private citizens operating satellites and becoming spacefarers. This book offers general readers a valuable primer on space policy from an international perspective. It examines the competing themes of space competition and cooperation while providing readers with an understanding of the basics of space technology, diplomacy, commerce, science, and military applications. 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.

Decoding U.S.-China Trade  – Tuesday, July 9 – 6-8 p.m. – Dinner Group
Princess Garden Restaurant (8906 Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64114)
Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics – Thursday, July 11 – 6 p.m. – Centered Spirit Group
Centered Spirit Cultural and Holistic Center (8131 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114)
The United States and Mexico: Partnership Tested – Thursday, July 25 – 12-1 p.m. – Downtown Group
Stinson Leonard Street Law Firm (1201 Walnut St., Suite 2900, Kansas City, MO 64106)
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 »

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 

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.

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.