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January 3, 2018: Join Us in Early 2018

Wednesday, January 3, 2018  
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Dear friends,

Happy new year! We're so glad to have you with us as we enter 2018. If you have ideas for what you'd like to see in the months ahead, please drop us a line »; we'd love to hear from you!

Applications for IRC program coordinator are being accepted through this Friday, January 5. We're excited to add to our team and invite you to share this opportunity widely with your network. A posting for the role is available here ».

January events include an IRC networking hour in Lee's Summit (Tuesday, January 9) and meeting of the book club near the Plaza (Tuesday, January 16). Members have told us that they appreciate these opportunities to get to know other members of Kansas City's international community while learning about IRC member organizations or timely topics, and we always love seeing you there – whether it's your first IRC event or you're a longtime member. Please join us for these free events if you're able.

Time is running out for high schools to register for Academic WorldQuest (Saturday, February 3, at the KU Edwards Campus). If a school has been on the fence or has selected a team but hasn't yet registered, now is the time to sign up. All the information students and teachers need is on the IRC website ». Besides learning about a range of global topics, students have the chance of winning an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., so it's definitely worth a shot!

The 2018 Berkley Lecture on the future of cyber conflict with Kate Charlet from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will be here in a month's time, so we encourage you to register today for individual tickets or a sponsored table of ten. Following the luncheon, we are pleased to offer a free event for students and teachers with Ms. Charlet at the National Archives near Union Station. More information is available below.

As always, thanks for reading. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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

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 2018, Iran's protests, Korean dialogue, Pakistan, and Congo. Read more »

We don't have a new blog post this week, but we invite you to check out past blog posts you might have missed here ». If you are interested in contributing a blog post, please review some frequently asked questions », where you'll also find out how to submit your post.

From Sara Pedram, director emerita of Global and Multicultural Education: G.A.M.E. is pleased to announce the selection of Matthew Hughes, executive director of the International Relations Council, as the recipient of their annual Peace Builder award! Since 2007, GAME has honored one individual and one organization who has demonstrated outstanding performance in the area of global and intercultural understanding and has actively shown a commitment to creating a more just and equal global society. Congratulations to Matthew for this well deserved recognition! The 11th annual Peace Builder Awards Luncheon is on Saturday, January 20, 11:30-1:30, All Souls Unitarian Church,4501 Walnut St., Kansas City, Missouri. Go to the G.A.M.E. website » and click on “Peace Builder” to make your reservation ($35 per person). We look forward to seeing you as we recognize Matthew Hughes!

What is America's biggest challenge in the world?  If you're a high school student, you're invited to submit either an essay or a video on this question. Maximum essay length: 750 words; maximum video length: 5 minutes. Winners in each medium will be judged by an expert panel of educators and designers of student outreach programs. See more details here ». Criteria for judging include creative engagement with the Centennial Challenge topic, compelling demonstration of the position you take, and breadth and depth of the vision you present.

Prizes: 1st prize: $1500 and expenses paid for a trip to attend the 2018 Foreign Policy Centennial Spring Dinner in New York City; 2nd prize: $500; 3rd prize: $500. Deadline for submissions: January 31, 2018

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've started 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!


Free Event
IRC Networking Hour – Tuesday, January 9 – 4-6 p.m. – Missouri Innovation Campus (Lee's Summit)
IRC networking hours give IRC members and friends the chance to get to know each other and the work of the IRC's organizational partners. On Tuesday, January 9, please join us in Lee's Summit as we explore the new Missouri Innovation Campus, home to Summit Technology Academy and the University of Central Missouri's Lee's Summit Campus. All are invited to this free networking event. Read more and register »

IRC Member Benefit
Cover to Cover: Richard Haass – Wednesday, January 10 – 1-1:30 p.m. – via conference call
"These are no ordinary times. It will not be business as usual in a world of disarray; as a result, it cannot be foreign policy as usual," writes Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, in his book, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order. Haass argues for "World Order 2.0" – an updated global operating system that reflects the reality that power is widely distributed and that borders count for less. Dial in to January's Cover to Cover to hear Haass's take on the need for an updated definition of sovereignty and how the U.S. should interact with the rest of the world. The IRC is pleased to be able to offer this opportunity as a free benefit to current members; to check your membership status or to register for the call, please contact Matthew ».

Free Event
IRC Book Club: Cybersecurity and Cyberwar – Tuesday, January 16 – 6:30-8 p.m. – Kauffman Foundation Conference Center
The IRC Book Club will consider cybersecurity at its next meeting on Tuesday, January 16, as a lead-up to the 2018 Berkley Lecture. IRC member and technology specialist Michael Arbach will facilitate the session. This program is free and open to the public, though reservations are requested to help with planning. Please join us! Read more and register »

High-School Program
2018 Academic WorldQuest
 – Saturday, February 3 – 12-4 p.m. – KU Edwards Campus
High-school students are invited to put their global knowledge to the test in the annual Academic WorldQuest competition, a flagship program of the World Affairs Councils of America. Each year since 2006, the IRC has offered high-school students the chance to showcase their knowledge of world affairs, geography, history, and world events. Each area high school may enter one team of four students plus a faculty sponsor. Participation is entirely cost-free for schools. The winning team will receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the students and their sponsor to participate in the national Academic WorldQuest competition in late April. The 2018 Kansas City–area tournament will be held on Saturday, February 3, at the KU Edwards Campus.  Read more and register »

Registration Open
2018 Berkley Lecture: The Future of Cyber Conflict – Wednesday, February 7 – 11:30-1:00 (Registration at 11) – Grand Street Café
The IRC is proud to present Katherine Charlet as the 2018 Berkley Lecturer. Inaugural director of the Technology and International Affairs Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and former acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, Ms Charlet will present on cyber security and policy. Tickets ($30, students; $38, IRC members; $45 general admission) are available through January 31. Sponsorships are also available. Read more and register »

Free Student Event
Berkley Lecture Student Event: Cyber Policy Expert Kate Charlet – Wednesday, February 7 – 2-3:30 p.m. – National Archives
High-school and university students and teachers are invited to join cyber policy expert Kate Charlet for a timely and informative presentation on cyber security and policy. The program is free to attend. This program is limited to students and their teachers; we invite others who are interested to attend Ms. Charlet's lecture on the future of cyber conflict earlier in the day. Please RSVP by January 31 directly to » with your name, school, and number of students. Read more »

An incredible network of experienced professionals, travelers, and internationalists in the Kansas City metro area make up the IRC community. With this in mind, the IRC Speakers Bureau facilitates connections between these experts and local organizations, schools, and businesses who are interested in having them speak or present at their events. Many current IRC members are eligible to join the Speakers Bureau as speakers, and the service is free for IRC member organizations. Click here » to learn more, sign up to be a speaker, or request a speaker for your upcoming event.

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, including how to order materials and where and when groups meet, is available here ». Topics for 2018 include the waning of Pax Americana, Russia, China: economic power and geopolitics, media and foreign policy, Turkey: a partner in crisis, the U.S. defense budget, South Africa, and global health.

To purchase 2018 materials (for delivery in January 2018), please click here »


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.

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.

Doing Business in Ecuador & Current Business Opportunities », presented by EDCKC and World Trade Center KC
Wednesday, January 24 – 8:30-10:30 a.m. – World Trade Center (Union Station)

Hitler's First Victims », presented by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
Thursday, January 25 – 6 p.m. – Plaza Library

Kansas City Folk Festival », presented by Folk Alliance International
Sunday, February 18 – Westin Crown Center

International Festival », presented by Summit Christian Academy
Tuesday, February 20 – 5 p.m. – SCA Elementary (Lee's Summit)

Wyandotte County Ethnic Festival »
Saturday, April 14 – 11-5:30 – KCKCC Athletic Field House 

Discover Global Markets », presented by the U.S. Commercial Service
April 30 to May 2 – 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 the Volunteer Center or future IRC newsletters, please contact Matthew Hughes.

Please click here » to visit the IRC Volunteer Center for more information on one-time and ongoing opportunities to support the IRC and other international initiatives.

KC Scholars Seeks Volunteers to Review Applications
KC Scholars will need more than 200 community members to review essays and recommendations. This is a great way to become part of a large movement in KC and help more Kansas Citians go to and complete college. Applications open at » on January 1 and are due by February 2, 2018. Volunteers will commit 18-20 hours between mid-March and early April. Only 2.5 hours are in-person at a training. The rest of the time is spent wherever you like  by reviewing applications online. You can review from anywhere! For more information: » or 816-581-5700.

KC Public Library Seeks Volunteers
Refugee & Immigrant Services & Empowerment is a division of the Kansas City Public Library’s Outreach Department, dedicated to connecting refugee and immigrant patrons and community members to resources for their success. RISE seeks volunteers for the following programs:

  • English for Citizenship Preparation: assist instructor in weekly classes, two hours/week for 12 weeks, one-hour volunteer training session required
  • Citizen Interview Mentor Sessions: work one-on-one to prepare patrons for naturalization interview, one to two hours/week, flexible scheduling, two hours of volunteer training required
  • English-Language Learning: lead small classes (life skills, basic English speaking/reading/writing), two hours/week, one hour of training required

Contacts: Julie Robinson », RISE manager (816-701-3587); Jane Lee », citizenship coordinator (816-701-3673); Katie Taylor », English language coordinator (816-701-3712); Rita Edmonds », RISE VISTA (816-701-3546)

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