News & Press: Newsletters

Discussing Turkey This Week

Wednesday, June 19, 2019  
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Dear friends,

We were honored last week to host representatives from 25 World Affairs Councils from around the country as part of WACA's annual council leadership meeting. Council reps joined us on Thursday for the second annual Great Decisions Forum, co-hosted with the National WWI Museum and Memorial. Attendees heard from Nazanin Ash of the International Rescue Committee, Della Lamb's Abdul Bakar, and Dr. Matt Naylor from the WWI Museum on the complexities of the discussion surrounding refugees and global migration. If you weren't able to join us, you can find a recorded version of the program online ».

On Friday, participants shared best practices from their councils and heard from Dr. David Renz from the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Uzra Zeya, president and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. We offer our deep thanks to everyone who made these events possible – our generous sponsors, IRC members and board members, and numerous volunteers. This was a true community effort, and we heard a familiar phrase about KC from our guests: "I had no idea!"

This week, the next News & Views group will come together in KCK for a conversation on Turkey. More information is below. And on Saturday we hope to see you at the Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences on Independence Avenue for World Refugee Day. This yearly celebration brings together organizations and individuals from around the metro area to experience the richness of Kansas City's diversity firsthand.

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

This week, the World Citizen Blog is a 
member spotlight on Glory House Services »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.


Peter Gaar, Community Intern
Peter Gaar is currently a student at the University of Kansas pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Global and International Studies. He also minors in Political Science and German, a language he has developed conversational proficiency in since early 2017. Peter has spent a fair amount of time abroad, specifically in Western Europe and Germany and looks to focus on this region while finishing his undergraduate studies. He is from the Kansas City area and has worked a variety of different jobs, but he is very excited to work for an organization with such an international focus! Peter's hobbies include playing with his dogs, hanging out at the lake, and spending time with friends and family. He hopes one day to work within the U.S. State Department as a foreign service officer and represent the American people abroad.


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: Turkey Today – Thursday, June 20 – 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Tanner's Bar & Grill
Less than a decade ago, Turkey was viewed by some as a prime model for Middle Eastern countries on how a predominantly Muslim country can be democratic. Today, however, Erdoğan's government is frequently criticized for the use of far more authoritarian methods. The country has faced many changes due to an influx of over 3 million Syria refugees, a coup attempt that put the country in a continued state of emergency, ongoing conflicts with Kurds in the East, tested relationships with other countries as well as an internal economic downfall. Where does this put Turkey today? What can we guess about the country's future? We hope to see you on Thursday, May 20th to discuss it! 
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. 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 »

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

Screening: Orz Boyz (Taiwan, 2008) », presented by the Sister Cities Film Festival 
Sautrday, July 6 – 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Kansas City Public Library (Plaza Branch)

Screening: The Good Girls (Mexico, 2018) », presented by the Sister Cities Film Festival 
Saturday, July 13 – 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Kansas City Public Library (Plaza Branch)

Know Now Conference Call: U.S.-Iran Relations », presented by the World Affairs Councils of America 
Tuesday, July 16 – 1-1:30 p.m. 

Screening: Road to the Sky (China, 2015) »presented by the Sister Cities Film Festival 
Saturday, July 20 – 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Kansas City Public Library (Plaza Branch)

Screening: Hidden Moon (Mexico, 2012) »presented by the Sister Cities Film Festival 
Saturday, July 27 – 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Kansas City Public Library (Plaza Branch)

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

Screening: Key of Life (Japan, 2012) »presented by the Sister Cities Film Festival 
Saturday, August 3 – 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Kansas City Public Library (Plaza Branch)

Screening: Champions (Spain, 2018) »presented by the Sister Cities Film Festival 
Saturday, August 10 – 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Kansas City Public Library (Plaza Branch)

KNOW NOW Featuring Dean C. Alexander », presented by World Affairs Councils of America 
Tuesday, August 13 – 1 p.m.

Ethnic Enrichment Festival », presented by the Ethnic Enrichment Commission 
Friday-Sunday, August 16-18 – Swope Park

First Annual Gala », presented by GlobalFC 
August 23 – 6:30 p.m. – Children's Mercy Park

5th Annual Convocation », presented by KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures 
Thursday, August 29 – 3:30-6 p.m. – KU Student Union Ballroom

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 »