News & Press: Newsletters

March 7, 2018: Brazil, WorldQuest, and Volunteers

Thursday, March 8, 2018  
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Dear friends,

It's a fun week for us at the IRC! On Monday we sat down with a number of past IRC presidents who continue to offer their generous support. We thank them for sharing their time and ideas with us. Tomorrow afternoon we'll be saying thanks, too, to IRC volunteers who supported our programs in 2017. The IRC is fortunate to have such a giving community, and we are grateful for the many ways our members and friends (including you!) participate and contribute.

Yesterday we were excited to finalize plans for a program on Brazil in just a couple weeks. Um Retrato Atual: Economic, Political, and Cultural Perspectives on Brazil in 2018 – to be held the evening of Wednesday, March 21, at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park – will feature a panel discussion with area experts on various aspects of Brazil today. We invite you to join us, bring a friend, enjoy Brazilian food and drink, and learn about the world's fifth-largest country by population and geographic area. Read more here »

WorldQuest teams continue to register, and we hope yours will be next. This annual trivia contest tests global wits in a friendly environment with dinner, drinks, and parking all included. Volunteers are still needed to help the day of the event (Wednesday, April 5, from 6-9 p.m. at UMKC). Volunteer opportunities include managing the registration, donation, and raffle tables, as well as ushering. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact April »Read more about WorldQuest here »

As winter fades (or so the calendar says), international events are picking up in Kansas City. Please do check out the community calendar below and support the wide range of organizations helping to bring a global perspective to our community.

We couldn't do this work without you. Thank you for your continued support of the IRC.

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 U.S. trade, Italian election results, the new Cold War, talks with North Korea, Xi Jinping's power grab, are Sierra Leone. Read more »

This week, the IRC's World Citizen Blog offers a report on our recent Global Experience program on the international implications of the 2018 Olympics ». We welcome blog contributions from IRC members and friends. If you are interested in writing a blog post, please review somefrequently asked questions », where you'll also find out how to submit your post.

Bryce Slaughter, Global Education Intern
Bryce Slaughter is an MAEd candidate with certification in Instructional Design and Technology at Avila University. He earned his BA from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Spanish and International Studies (emphasis in European Studies) with a Multicultural Certificate. He spent part of his undergraduate studies in Alcalá de Henares, Spain. Following the completion of his time at Mizzou, he moved to Canada to spend time with family while he worked and “attempted” to learn French. A globe trotter at heart, he currently is specializing in International Advocacy and Leadership at Avila University and plans to continue to obtain his doctorate upon completion of his degree. When not working, he is an avid runner and yogi and hopes to complete a sub 1:45:00 half-marathon time this spring.

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 by March 13 for admission and scholarship consideration. Learn more »


Created to elevate youth voices in the global policy dialogue, the U.S. Youth Observer to the UN is a role appointed annually by the U.S. Department of State and UN Association of the USA. For a one-year term, an American between the ages of 18-25 is selected to engage young people in the U.S. in the work of the United Nations and international issues. As a correspondent between U.S. missions to the UN and American youth, the Youth Observer travels throughout the United States to discover the issues important to young Americans and participates at international organization meetings. The most critical role of the Youth Observer is to engage young Americans in the work of the UN, empowering them to be active participants in dialogue on international issues and to have a global impact. The Youth Observer will travel to high schools and colleges across the nation to build a connection between the UN and young Americans. Apply here » by Sunday, April 29.

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, 2018. Read 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 30. Read more »

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!


Registration Open
Um Retrato Atual: Economic, Political, and Cultural Perspectives on Brazil in 2018 – Wednesday, March 21 – 5:45-8 p.m. – KU Edwards Campus (Overland Park)
Join us on Wednesday, March 21, for an evening program exploring the challenges and opportunities faced by Brazil in 2018. We’ll be joined by an illustrious panel who will offer perspectives on Brazil’s economy, politics, and culture in a Latin American and global context. Tickets are available for $20 (general admission), $15 (IRC members), and no charge (students). Refreshments will be available during a networking reception before the panel discussion, and a Q&A session will follow. Read more and register »

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: 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.

How Film Captures the Roles of Women in War and Peace », presented by USIP and Avila University
Thursday, March 8 – 8:30-11 a.m. – via webcast – Thornhill Gallery in Dallavis Hall at Avila University

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

International Women's Day: Celebrating Global Advances in Women's Rights, presented by UNA Women
Thursday, March 8 – 5:30-7:30 p.m. – The Basha Cuisine (Overland Park)

Artist Talk: Xu Bing », presented by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Thursday, March 8 – 6-7 p.m. – The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

NAFTA's Impact on Our Economy », presented by the World Trade Council of Wichita
Thursday, March 8 – 6-8:30 p.m. – Wichita Marriott Hotel

An Introduction to Intellectual Property », presented by the Linda Hall Library
Saturday, March 10 – 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Linda Hall Library

Brexit Update: Implications for U.S. Exports to the U.K. and E.U. Webinar », presented by the U.S. Commercial Service
Thursday, March 22 – 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – via webinar

Keeping Your Heart in Care: Cultural Experiences in Palliative Care and Beyond », presented by KU Medical Center
Thursday, March 22 – 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Ad Astra Room, HEB (KUMC)

The Compassion Experience », presented by Compassion International
Friday to Monday, March 23-26 – various times – Lenexa Baptist Church

Film Screening: Equal Means Equal », presented by the National Archives and UNA Women
Wednesday, March 28 – 6:00 p.m. – National Archives (near Union Station) – RSVP »

13th Annual Dialogue & Friendship Dinner », presented by the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest
Wednesday, April 11 – 6-8:30 p.m. – UMKC Student Union

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

25th Anniversary Gala », presented by Heart to Heart International
Saturday, April 14 – 6-11 p.m. – Sheraton Overland Park Hotel

Passport to India Festival », presented by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Sunday, April 15 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

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

2018 Diplomatic Ball », presented by the Ethnic Enrichment Commission
Saturday, April 28 – Sheraton Crown Center

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.

Ninety Fulbright Scholars Seeking Dinner Hosts
Global Ties KC is looking for Home Hospitality hosts for 90 Fulbright Scholars for the evening of Monday, March 19. Each household will take 3-4 Scholars each. Hosts are asked to pick up their visitors from their hotel on the Plaza, provide a home cooked meal, then return them at the end of the evening. This opportunity is part of a Fulbright Enrichment Seminar on "Entrepreneurship and Innovation" from March 18-21 at the Kauffman Foundation. The event will showcase the entrepreneurial spirit of the Midwest and ways Kansas City’s entrepreneurial efforts have a ripple effect worldwide. If you or someone you know is interested in welcoming international visitors for an evening, please contact Sarah Martin » or 816-421-4242 by Tuesday, March 13th.

Hosts Needed for Chinese Model United Nations Team
JCCC’s partner college in China will send its Model United Nations team to JCCC en route to the international competition in New York. These bright and motivated “Model UNers” are a pleasure to talk with and always a pleasure to host.  If you would like a brief and rewarding international experience, please consider hosting 1 or 2 of these students. They will arrive the afternoon of Monday, March 19, and depart the morning of Friday, March 23. During their time at JCCC, the students will be kept busy all day, so hosts will only be responsible for providing their student(s) with dinner and breakfast and getting them back and forth to JCCC during their stay. For more information, please contact Suzanne Maheu at ».

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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