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February 21, 2018: Can't Get Enough of the Olympics?

Thursday, February 22, 2018  
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Dear friends,

With this week's ice storm, we considered starting our own curling team, but we thought we'd leave that to the professionals. Instead, we have a couple Olympics-themed events coming up that might be of interest:

  • A few slots remain for our next Global Experience program on Monday, February 26, at Port Fonda in Westport. Tom Patterson, director of International Education at JCCC, will be leading a discussion on the international implications of the 2018 Olympics. We've posted preparation materials on the event site in case you're able to join us or would like to read more. Since space is limited, we do ask that you register in advance ».
  • The IRC's annual Olympics of Global Trivia – more commonly known as WorldQuest – is planned for Thursday, April 5, at UMKC, and we hope your team of eight will be there! This fan favorite boasts great prizes and bragging rights along with dinner, drinks, and parking for just $45/person – plus, you'll be supporting the IRC's global-education work with K-12 students. Please register your team soon as we anticipate a full crowd this year. Read more and register »

There are some phenomenal training and placement opportunities available this summer for university students and high-school teachers. Please see below for more information and pass them along to others who might be interested. Please note the deadlines for each.

IRC board member Mike Wood will be leading a journey to South Africa this fall with People to People International, and he'd like to invite you to join him. Read more here »

In the coming weeks, we will be undertaking a redesign of the IRC's website. We invite you to offer your feedback on our current site » with your specific recommendations for what should stay the same and what we can improve to better serve our community. Please complete this survey » at your earliest convenience to help us with this process.

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 countering Russia, the Munich security conference, critical times in Syria, North Korean cyber threats, chaos in Congo, and the Venezuelan crisis. Read more »

This week, the IRC's World Citizen Blog examines the reviled refugees of Manus ». We welcome blog contributions from IRC members and friends. 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.

Dr. Karenbeth Zacharias – University of St. Mary
Dr. Karenbeth Zacharias is the director of the Lawrence D. Starr Center for Peace and Justice and an assistant professor of History at the University of Saint Mary. Her passion for human rights began when she lived in Turkey as an American Field Service student after high-school graduation. Expanding her understanding of international laws around protections of vulnerable populations, Karenbeth teaches courses on the History of Genocide, Women in World History, and Modern Africa. Karenbeth has a J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law and a Ph.D. in History from KU. She is on the National Council for UNA-USA and serves as a board member and treasurer for UNA of Greater Kansas City. For Karenbeth, the IRC matters because civic engagement and education at the local level help us better understand the world and its complex political, social, and cultural ecosystems at the global level.

Ellis Gilham, Community Intern
Ellis Gilham is currently a freshman at Metropolitan Community College. After graduating in spring 2018, he plans on majoring in International Relations, minoring in Journalism, and gaining language certificates in Hindi and Arabic at a four-year university. Ellis is currently the treasurer of a support group for people of diverse backgrounds, Dreamers Club, at MCC. Since beginning his work with Dreamers Cub, Ellis has helped coordinate panels for the student body. His interest in International Relations started in high school while living in India as a foreign-exchange student. In India, he discovered that his passion is with the people of the world and trying to make it a better place. In his spare time, Ellis enjoys playing an array of musical instruments and occasionally recording.

Applications are being accepted for the 2018 Institute on Economics + International Affairs in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by The Fund for American Studies in partnership with George Mason University, the program is an eight-week summer academic intern program that offers undergraduate students a first-hand look at international affairs through an internship placement with an international NGO, foreign embassy or policy organization; courses for credit in international economics and U.S. foreign policy; exclusive lectures, briefings and professional development seminars; and housing in the heart of Washington, D.C. Students should apply byMarch 13 for admission and scholarship consideration. Learn more »

The word Sabla in Omani Arabic dialect refers to places in communities where people gather to receive hospitality. Sabla also serves as a meeting place to discuss important public issues. The Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center's Sabla Program is an intensive summer language program designed to benefit current university-level students and recent graduates. The program emphasized the instruction of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The program runs for five weeks, offering highly intensive coursework in Arabic. Scholarships are available. Apply by May 6, 2018Read more »

The Foreign Policy Association is seeking high school teachers with demonstrated commitment to international education to take part in its annual Great Decisions Teacher Training Institute. Teachers chosen will reflect geographically diverse high schools from around the continent and will be chosen on a competitive basis. Join them for four days of strengthening skills in teaching global affairs, exploring ways to expand international studies in the classroom, building professional support networks, and developing International Studies curricula. Applications are due Friday, March 30Read more »

Help shape the brand-new Greater Kansas City Peacebuilding Consortium. Join like-minded organizations from across the metro to create a powerful voice focused on positive peace for our community. Groups promoting equity, health care, education, opportunity, economic security, inclusion, and empathy are invited to connect with, learn from, and collaborate with each other as we share opportunities and best practices in peacebuilding in the Greater Kansas City area. An organizational meeting will be held on Friday, February 23, at JCCC's Collaboration Center. Register to attend »

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 Program
Global Experience: International Implications of the 2018 Olympics – Monday, February 26 – 6-7:30 p.m. – Port Fonda (Westport)
Our Global Experience series continues with a discussion on the international implications of the 2018 Olympics. Join moderator Tom Patterson, director of International Education at JCCC, for a conversation on what sort of diplomatic lessons, surprises, and foreshadowing came out of this year's Olympic Games. Preparation materials and discussion questions will be provided. This event is admission-free and open to the public, but attendees will pay for their own meals. We hope to see you there! Read more and register »

IRC Member Benefit
Cover to Cover: Israeli National Security – Thursday, March 1 – 1-1:30 p.m. – via conference call
National security has been at the forefront of the Israeli experience for seven decades, with threats ranging from terrorism, to vast rocket and missile arsenals, and even existential nuclear dangers. Yet, despite its overwhelming preoccupation with foreign and defense affairs, Israel does not have a formal national defense strategy.  In Israeli National Security, Chuck Freilich presents an authoritative analysis of the military, diplomatic, demographic, and societal challenges Israel faces today, to propose a comprehensive and long-term Israeli national security strategy.  Join next month's Cover to Cover to discuss Chuck Freilich's new book, Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change. 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 Matthew ».

Registration Open
WorldQuest: Dinner, Drinks, & Global Trivia – Thursday, April 5 – 6-9 p.m. – UMKC's Pierson Auditorium
Spring will soon arrive and, with it, WorldQuest, the IRC's much-anticipated annual trivia night! Join fellow world enthusiasts on Thursday, April 5, for friendly competition and fabulous prizes – all to support a worthy cause. Your $45 ticket ($360/table of 8) covers parking, dinner, drinks, and trivia. Additional contributions (in advance or that evening) are most welcome and will support the IRC's global-education efforts. Sponsorships are available and include prime seating for a table of eight, your logo on the website and event signage, recognition from stage, and your logo displayed during one round of trivia questions. Read more and register »

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: eco nomic 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.

International Festival », presented by Summit Christian Academy
Thursday, February 22 – 5 p.m. – SCA Elementary (Lee's Summit) – RESCHEDULED

Democracy and the Mexican Electoral System », presented by JCCC and the Mexican Consulate
Wednesday, February 28 – 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. – JCCC

Leaders of Tomorrow Summit », presented by CGSC Foundation and K-State
Thursday, March 8 – 8:30-12:30 – K-State Olathe Campus

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

Comida KC: A World Tour of Latin Flavors », presented by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Thursday, April 26 – Union Station

Global Table », presented by JVS
Sunday, April 29 – 6-8 p.m. – Oakwood Country Club

Discover Global Markets », presented by the U.S. Commercial Service
April 30 to May 2 – Kansas City

Go Global KC Luncheon, presented by World Trade Center–Kansas City
Wednesday, June 6

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.

PREP-KC Seeks Volunteers to Mentor Students
For more information, contact PREP-KC ». To register for an opportunity, click here ».

  • Career Jumping is a fast-paced career exploration experience (set up like speed-dating) where professionals talk with 3-5 students in eight-minute increments to share their career stories. We are seeking professionals from all fields.
  • Mad City Money is a "game of life" designed to increase students' financial literacy. We are needing volunteers from all backgrounds to staff booths regarding topics including mortgage, transportation, daycare, and others. Directions for each booth will be provided to volunteers upon arrival. MCM is in partnership with the UMKC's Center for Economic Education and United Way of Greater Kansas City.
  • Career Speakers talk with students about their career pathway and how school is relevant to their future. Volunteers rotate through multiple classrooms for approximately 15 minutes each. PREP-KC is seeking volunteers from Arts, Communications, Health, Human Services, Business, IT, Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction, Trades, and other related fields for all events.
  • IGNITE are hands-on experiences to expose students to a range of careers through interactive booths. We can help volunteers create an activity. We are seeking volunteers from all backgrounds.

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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