News & Press: Newsletters

Looking Back & Looking Ahead

Wednesday, July 10, 2019  
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Dear friends,

This week, it's a real pleasure to share with you the IRC's 2019 Midyear Update, a chronicle of the many moments that brought our IRC community together over the last year. You’ll see some familiar faces, recall some meaningful discussions, and find some ways to get more involved with this dynamic organization. As you read through the update, we invite you to think about how you might contribute to our growing community – whether you have time, a certain skill, or other resources to offer, we warmly welcome your involvement. And as you're able, we invite you to consider supporting the IRC with a tax-deductible gift to help us continue this important work of raising a global perspective in Kansas City.

Click to view the 2019 Midyear Update

The weeks ahead hold some fun, summertime events for the whole family, including the KC-favorite Ethnic Enrichment Festival, which will return to Swope Park from August 16-18. The IRC will be there all weekend, so we hope you'll stop by if you have some time. If you'd like to spend a couple hours with other IRC members and friends, we're looking for volunteers to work the booth and share information about the IRC with festival attendees. More information is available below.

However you choose to support the IRC, we're so appreciative. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Kind regards,

Matthew Hughes, Executive Director
 • 816-423-2632

This week, the World Citizen Blog is 
a reflection on the apolitical, non-partisan nature of the IRC »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.

The annual Ethnic Enrichment Festival » (Friday to Sunday, August 16-18, at Swope Park) is a great family outing and a fun way to get to know the food, arts, and people of the world right here in our own global community. As we previous years, the IRC will have an informational booth at the festival, and we'd love your help staffing it. This is a great opportunity to meet other internationally engaged members of the community and share about the IRC. Please sign up here » for the shift of your choice, and we'll be in touch with more information.


Abigail Phillips, Events Intern
Abigail graduated Concordia University in Austin, Texas, in May 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and then moved to Lawrence for graduate school. She is currently a Global and International Studies master’s student at the University of Kansas, where she specializes in the Middle East and the Arabic language. Her ongoing projects include her master’s thesis as well as her work as a graduate assistant and adviser to international students. Abigail’s research focuses on knowledge and power and how American politicians are able to use their power to produce inaccurate interpretations regarding Muslims and Arabs. Going forward, Abigail hopes to play a part in breaking down the stereotypes, stigmas, and misrepresentations revolving around Muslim and Arab communities. When Abigail is not buried in her research, she spends her spare time riding horses, taking ballet classes, and playing the organ.


Registration Open
Global Experience: Sister Cities Film Festival: Road to the Sky (China, 2015) 
– Saturday, July 20 – 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – KC Library (Plaza Branch)
The IRC's Global Experience series asks, "What's your global story? Do you get the chance to share it?" Join the IRC as we attend the Sister Cities Association's film showing of Road to the Sky (China, 2015). Following the film, there will be a post-film discussion, and then IRC attendees are invited to relocate to a nearby restaurant for lunch. Based on a true story, this film is about a World War II military supply road built collaboratively by China and Myanmar and the power of the project to bring together diverse communities. Read more and register »

Registration Open
News & Views: Media and Horrifying Images – Necessary Evil, or Unnecessarily Sensational? 
– Thursday, July 25 – 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Calibration Brewery (NKC)
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 is Media and Horrifying Images: As media outlets, our ethics are challenged by decisions on if and how to use horrifying photos like the recent one of the immigrant father and daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande and earlier images like the one of three year old Syrian refugee whose body washed ashore in Turkey. 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 »

Family Event
Visit the IRC at the Ethnic Enrichment Festival 
– Friday, August 16-Sunday, August 18 – Swope Park
Feel the world beat in the heart of America. This event is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the country and features more than 60 different cultures selling their native foods, crafts and performing ethnic music and dances. The festival is held during the third full weekend of August near the front entrance of historic Swope Park. Be sure to swing by the IRC's booth to say hello and learn more about our upcoming programs. Read more »

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.

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)

The United States and Mexico: Partnership Tested – Thursday, August 1 – 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 ».

Please join us in supporting the following events hosted by IRC members across the metro. 

Leadership Convention and Diversity Career Fair », presented by the National Association of Asian American Professionals
Thursday-Saturday, August 22-24 – Westin (Crown Center)

The Leadership Convention, presented by NAAAP, is for those who want to push the boundaries of what it means to lead. People from all professional and cultural backgrounds are welcome to come connect with and be inspired by unconventional leaders, visionaries, and disruptors. The three-day convention begins with the ERG Summit on Thursday, August 22, 2019, continues with speakers and workshops on August 23 and 24, and concludes with the Gala and NAAAP 100 & Inspire Awards presented by United Airlines on August 24. There will also be a Diversity Career Fair on August 23. The NAAAP Kansas City chapter will be co-hosting the 2019 Convention, ERG Summit, and Diversity Career Fair at the Westin Crown Center located in the heart of beautiful Kansas City. IRC members receive a 10% off discounted rate. Email Matthew Hughes » to receive the member discount code.

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 »

African Dream Cuisine Pop-Up » presented by African Dream Cuisine
Friday, July 12 – 12-9 p.m. – Lenexa Public Market

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)

Cover to Cover: Anna Fifield on Kim Jong Un », presented by the World Affairs Councils of America
Wednesday, July 24 – 8-8:30 a.m. – via conference call

From New York to Tehran: American Pragmatism, Muslim Engineers, and the Making of Modern Iran », presented by the Linda Hall Library
Thursday, July 25 – 3-4 p.m. – Linda Hall Library

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)

Annual Picnic, presented by the Czech and Slovak Club
Saturday, July 27 – 3-6 p.m. – William Henry Harrison Park (Sugar Creek, MO)

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 »

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.

Youth for Understanding
Host an exchange student and get ready for a life-changing experience! This is a chance to share your story, your traditions, and your customs while learning about others. When you open your home and heart to a YFU international exchange student, you'll develop a fresh perspective, make memories, and gain a new family member for life. Apply online at or call to learn more.


Facebook Live: Chat with a Diplomat
From Austin to Boston! – Join the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomats in Residence for Texas and New England on Facebook Live to learn more about U.S. Department of State student opportunities, including: the Virtual Student Federal Service » (deadline is July 31 for 2019-2020 academic year internships), Student Internship Program » (deadline is late September for summer 2020 internships), and Pickering »  and Rangel » graduate fellowship programs (deadlines are mid/late September for cohort beginning graduate programs in fall 2020). Pick the time that works best for you and come armed with all your questions. If you cannot attend, please visit » for more information on careers with the U.S. Department of State.

  • Thursday, July 11 at 12:30 PM ET on the DIR New England Facebook Page » (@DIRNewEngland) or
  • Tuesday, July 23 at 7:30 PM ET at DIR Texas Facebook Page (@DIRtexas).