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February 1, 2017: Hear from Former Mexican President Vicente Fox

Wednesday, February 1, 2017  
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Dear friends,

Many thanks to everyone who joined us for yesterday's program on the future of U.S. foreign policy. The audience appreciated the insights offered by Mizzou Professor Cooper Drury as well as the hospitality shown by Stinson Leonard Street in their beautiful downtown facilities. We've reached out to those who attended for their feedback so we can continue to offer relevant and timely programs of interest to the KC community. Even if you didn't participate in the program last night, please do share a suggestion with us » about a program topic or speaker that would be of interest to you.

Professor Cooper Drury presents on the future of U.S. foreign policy.

One of the unique benefits of being an IRC member is the chance to connect with current and former – and occasionally future – world leaders. Today we received word that the IRC has been invited to participate in a conference call on Friday with former Mexican President Vicente Fox (2000-2006). More information on this members-only opportunity is below. If you'd like to learn more about becoming an IRC member, or if you'd like to pass information along to a friend or colleague, please visit our website ».

As we finalize details on our spring programs, please do continue to encourage high-schoolers to sign up for Academic WorldQuest (registration closes next week), and get your team of adults ready for WorldQuest. We can't wait! 

Kind regards,
Matthew Hughes, Executive Director • 816-423-2632

Weekly World News Digest
Each week, the World Affairs Councils of America publishes a digest of news stories covering topics from around the world. This week's edition focuses on U.S.–Russia relations, China and the world, Iranian nuclear violation, executive orders and foreign policy, and economics in the Americas. Read more here »

Great Decisions
Great Decisions groups give internationally minded individuals throughout the metro area an opportunity to connect as they explore topics of global significance. Groups affiliated with the IRC set a regular meeting time and location, often over a meal, and use materials prepared by the Foreign Policy Association to lead dynamic discussions. More information about the Great Decisions program is available here ».

Many groups are getting underway. Current groups, with contact information, can be found here ». Please let us know if your group is not posted, and we can help to promote your discussions, too.

Great decisions materials, including books and DVDs, have arrived at the IRC's offices and are available through our online store ». The IRC's price of $22/book (which includes shipping and handling to your address) is less expensive than buying directly from the Foreign Policy Association. If you are interested in special orders or digital teachers' guides, please let Matthew know.

Topics for 2017 include the Future of Europe, Trade and Politics, Conflict in the South China Sea, Saudi Arabia in Transition, U.S. Foreign Policy and Petroleum, Latin America’s Political Pendulum, Prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Nuclear Security.

Help Us Get to Know Our Members
IRC members are remarkable individuals and organizations who bring considerable international experience, connections, and curiosity to our network and offer unique perspectives and contributions – in some cases, for decades! To help members get to know one another and to celebrate our members' many efforts, we'd like to start highlighting individual and organizational members in the IRC newsletter and on the website. If you know someone who deserves the spotlight, or if you wish to share your own story, please submit this form ». We look forward to getting to know our IRC members!

Meet the IRC Board
Dr. Sidne Ward – University of Missouri–Kansas City
Sidne Ward is director of global initiatives at the Bloch School of Management at UMKC, where she also serves as chair of the Management Department and associate professor. Sidne holds a BA in Russian, an MBA from the University of Oklahoma, and a PhD in management from UCLA. As a Fulbright Senior Scholar and visiting professor, she lived in Nepal while teaching at the Kathmandu University School of Management. In addition to teaching and guest lecturing in Asia and Europe, she has traveled for work and pleasure to more than 40 countries.

For Sidne, the IRC matters because promoting increased understanding of and appreciation for global affairs throughout the greater Kansas City region informs our society, increasing economic, social, and cultural opportunities for all.

Meet the IRC's Spring 2017 Interns

Hieu Phung, Social Media & Web Intern
Hieu Phung is an international student from Vietnam, currently in his fourth year of Business Administration/Marketing at UMKC. He has been very involved with extracurricular activities on campus. He has helped develop and plan marketing strategy for several academic departments on campus, including UMKC College of Arts & Sciences, UMKC International Student Affairs Office, and currently UMKC Bloch Executive Education. Besides that, he holds executive leadership positions with several committees and organizations on campus, such as Concert Committee, International Student Council, and Vietnamese Student Association. He is very interested in learning about international affairs and how to foster the relationship among local businesses in Kansas City and other international businesses. In his free time he enjoys practicing guitar and writing random songs about his life and experience.

Upcoming IRC Events

IRC Member Benefit
Call with Former Mexican President Vicente Fox – Friday, February 3 – 10-10:30 a.m. – via conference call
IRC members are able to take advantage of offerings from around the World Affairs Councils of America, including this conversation with the former president of Mexico. To register for the call, please send Matthew a note ». The call is free for current IRC members or those affiliated with IRC corporate, educational, or corporate partners.

Film Screening: Disturbing the Peace – Tuesday, February 7 – 7 p.m. – Kauffman Center
A screening of the film Disturbing the Peace followed by an engaging conversation with the filmmakers Stephen Apkon and Marcina Hale as well as the Combatants for Peace featured in the film. Disturbing the Peace is a story of the human potential unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us and, with the power of our convictions, take action to create new possibilities. The film follows former enemy combatants – Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison – who have joined together to challenge the status quo and say “enough." The film reveals their transformational journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle to nonviolent peace activists, leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace. Read more and register »

Disturbing the Peace: Creating a New Story for Conflict Resolution – Thursday, February 9 – 1:30 p.m. – WWI Museum
Filmmakers Stephen Apkon & Marcina Hale join former Israeli and Palestinian combatants turned peacemakers for a panel discussion about creating peace out of conflict. The conversation will feature clips from the award winning documentary film Disturbing the Peace. The program explores how human potential is unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us and, with the power of our convictions, take action to create new possibilities. Brought to you by Park University, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the National Archives at Kansas City, and Reconsider – this lively program is a timely blueprint for conflict resolution of every stripe: at home, abroad and in our communities. Register »

High-School Students – Registration Closes February 10
Academic WorldQuest
 for high-school students – Saturday, March 4 – 12-4 p.m. – Shawnee Civic Centre
(Please note that this event is for high-schoolers only.) Each year, teams of high-schoolers from around the Kansas City metro area come together for a friendly competition of global knowledge, hoping to represent our region at the national tournament in late April. Please join the International Relations Council for the 2017 Academic WorldQuest on Saturday, March 4, at the Shawnee Civic Centre. We encourage each area high school to register one team of four students and a faculty moderator for this cost-free competition. The winning team will be rewarded with an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national tournament! Register here »

Save the Date
WorldQuest Trivia Night – Wednesday, April 26 – evening program – UMKC's Pierson Auditorium
We'd love to see you for this perennial IRC favorite where teams compete in rounds of current events and global knowledge for bragging rights, a rotating trophy, and fabulous prizes. More details to come.

Employers Wanted for Career Fair
UMKC Career Services is hosting an International Student Career Fair on Wednesday, March 1, 2017Although the career fair is focused toward international students, all students are invited to participate. This event will provide an opportunity for UMKC students to explore the international and local employment opportunities offered by attending employers. There is a $300 registration fee for companies. For more information, or if your company would be interested in participating, please contact Janet Dexter at 816.235.1221 or by e-mail » to learn how to register. The deadline for registration and booth payment is February 23.

IRC Program Suggestion Box
Have an idea for an IRC topic, program, or speaker? We'd love to hear from you! Please complete this form » as often as ideas come to you, and share it with others who might be interested. We may contact you for more information, and you may see your idea in a future IRC program or publication.

Other International Events in Kansas City
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.

Troost: A Vision for Peace and Action », presented by the Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence
Wednesday and Thursday, February 8 and 9 – Avila University

The American Military in the Great War », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Thursday, February 9 – 7 p.m. – Dole Institute (Lawrence)

Hana's Suitcase », a play presented by the Coterie Theatre
Playing January 4 to February 12 – The Coterie at Crown Center

The Homefront in World War I », presented by the Dole Institute of Politics
Thursday, February 16 – 7 p.m. – Dole Institute (Lawrence)

A Photo Album of Ireland », presented by the Kansas City Public Library
On display January 28 to March 16 – Central Library

International Volunteer Opportunities in Kansas City
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 future IRC newsletters, please contact Matthew Hughes.

Summit Technology Academy – short-term projects with students
The International Studies program (SISA) at Summit Technology Academy is looking for employees of businesses that operate internationally to volunteer a small amount of time to work with high school students on realistic, short-term projects. Your time commitment would consist of an initial meeting (virtually or in person), email correspondence, and a presentation time with you and your students, preferably at your place of business (but it can be at our building). You will determine the timeline of your project with your particular student team and will have the flexibility to work out details of the project as it fits your expertise. Summit Tech is a public high school program available to 14 school districts throughout the Metropolitan area. The International Studies Program has worked with employees from IBM, Black & Veatch, Garmin, and AEDS on past projects. For more information contact », or visit ».

Learning Through Borders: Teach English to Tajikistan – online
Today more than ever, confidence and facility with the English language is an essential key enabling students in developing countries to open doors in their own lives, in the lives of their communities, and around the world. Learning Through Borders provides teachers, student teachers, and anyone entering into teaching profession the opportunity to teach online to students across the world in Tajikistan. As a volunteer, you will gain experience in two burgeoning fields (online and international education) while you assist us in improving the lives of students and giving hope to those who need it through education. Teaching certification is not required, but we do ask that potential teachers have had some experience. We would love for you to join our team, and we will work to fit your schedule as best as we can. Time commitment is as much as you would like to provide; usually it would only be 2-4 hours a month, but it can be less or more depending on you. To volunteer, or if you have any questions about the project, please contact us ». We are looking forward to collaborating with you in this great initiative!

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