News & Press: Newsletters

A Loss for Our Community

Wednesday, June 26, 2019  
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Dear friends,

More fundamental than the substantive discussions, exposure to world affairs, and variety of perspectives the IRC offers is the dynamic community we form together. So many hands and ideas have built the IRC over the years into the organization it is today, and it's sad when one of those contributors is no longer with us. As you'll read below, longtime IRC member Stanley Pearson passed away this month. A graduate of the University of Minnesota and CPA, Stanley was introduced to the Great Decisions program in the 1970s and had been an active participant ever since, co-facilitating the Waldo Great Decisions Group with his colleague Jack McLaren for many years. He supported the IRC as a board member and treasurer and kept the books and prepared financial reports for annual audits. In recognition for his innumerable contributions, Stanley was presented the 2011 Mike Wood Presidential Citation of Merit by the IRC. Stanley was a great friend of the IRC and of so many in our community, and he'll be sorely missed.

As you read through this week's newsletter, you'll see a whole range of opportunities to plug in, from small-group discussions to larger lectures. Certainly come when the topics pique your interest, but also consider coming because of the community you'll find. Our members represent area businesses, universities, nonprofits, K-12 schools, and other broad-ranging networks, and meeting new professional contacts and personal friends is one of my own favorite parts of the IRC. I've told many of you that you never know just who you'll meet at an IRC event, and it's really true. If you haven't joined us in a while, drop us a note and get involved – we'd love to have you.

See you soon.

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

This week, the World Citizen Blog is a 
reflection on the current refugee crisis »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 deeply saddened to share news of the recent passing of Stanley Pearson, longtime IRC member and Waldo Great Decisions facilitator.  A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, June 28, at 3 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, 55th and Oak Street, in Kansas City. Our sympathies go out to Stanley's wife, Ardy, and the many family and friends whose lives he touched. 
Stanley's full obituary is available here »




Kate Higgins, Community Intern
Kate is an undergraduate at the University of St Andrews pursuing a double major in International Relations and Social Anthropology. While at St Andrews, she has been active in many philanthropic and social groups including Women in Work, Mary’s Meals, Polo Committee and currently serves as the special events and catering coordinator for the Fine Food and Dining Society. A native of Kansas City, Kate has volunteered at the non-profits Uplift and Wayside Waifs. While attending Shawnee Mission East High School, she served on the executive committee for SHARE, which is one of the largest public-school, student-run philanthropy in the United States. Kate chose to go to Scotland for university because she loves being immersed in different cultures and expanding her knowledge of the world and the diversity it possesses.  Her travels have taken her to Thailand, Cuba, Portugal, Spain, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland and The Netherlands.  Kate hopes to pursue a career internationally either with the United Nations or a non-governmental organization. Through this internship Kate hopes to broaden her knowledge of the international connections within the Kansas City metro area and build relationships with international and local personnel.


Registration Open
News & Views: Community Conversations on the Latest International News 
– Thursday, July 25 – 5:30-6:30 p.m. – North Kansas City, MO (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 »

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 »

Registration Opening Soon
Save the Date: The Status of Peacebuilding Between India and Pakistan – Tuesday, August 27 – 6:30-8 p.m. – Johnson County Community College
Early in 2019, India and Pakistan, both possessing nuclear weapons, came close to war before international pressure and internal realism produced a deescalation. Containing between them a population of 1.5 billion, the countries have fought four wars since 1947, when the Indian subcontinent was divided into India and Pakistan. In his lecture, Professor Gandhi, a research professor at UIUC and a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, will address the fragility and global importance of their current truce. 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  – 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 »

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

India Fest, presented by IAKC 
Sunday, August 25 – 11 a.m.-6 p.m. – Overland Park Convention Center

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 »

Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Fellowship Program 
The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program is a program funded by the U.S. Department of State, administered by Howard University, that attracts and prepares outstanding young people for Foreign Service careers in the U.S. Department of State. The Pickering Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to promote positive change in the world. Upon successful completion of a two-year master’s degree program and fulfillment of Foreign Service entry requirements, fellows have the opportunity to work as Foreign Service Officers in accordance with applicable law and State Department policy, serving in Washington, DC and at a U.S. embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission around the globe. Fellows also agree to a minimum five-year service commitment in the Department of State’s Foreign Service. The five-year service commitment begins upon entry into the Foreign Service. Click here for more information »