About News & Views
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 news stories. Facilitated by a seasoned member of the International Relations Council, the group meets in different informal settings around town, like a happy hour on the Plaza, for a guided conversation about a topic and articles that we’ll share just a few days in advance. Individuals of all backgrounds, interests, and perspectives are welcome – we just ask that you bring an open mind, thoughtful questions, and common courtesy. Registration is free but helps us with planning; individuals cover their own food and drinks.
Gregory Cook, Assistant Professor in the Department of Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Operations at U.S. Army Command and General Staff College will lead the August 6 News & Views program, which will focus on the latest news from Ukraine. The program will run 5:30-6:30 p.m. CT.
July 23, 2020 - Global Energy Demand
Facilitator: Jeff Spivak, Applied Intelligence Director at Black & Veatch
July 9, 2020 - Political Movements
Facilitator: Letitia Harmon, JCCC Professor
June 18, 2020 - Globalization of Art
Facilitator: Consuelo Cruz, Marketing and Community Relations Professional
June 4, 2020 - Russia
Facilitator: Alan Holiman, Professor of Political Science at William Jewell College
May 28, 2020 – Yemen
Facilitator: Dr. Michael Makara, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics and International Relations, University of Central Missouri
May 21, 2020 – Secession Movements
Facilitator: Dr. Emir Yazici, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri
May 14, 2020 – The Widening Social & Wealth Gap
Facilitator: IRC member Ella Rose
April 30, 2020 – Travel & Tourism
Facilitator: Jason Fulvi, President & CEO of Visit KC
April 23, 2020 – Local Journalism During a Global Pandemic
Facilitator: Stephen Steigman, Chief of Broadcast Operations, KCUR 89.3 Kansas City Public Media
April 16, 2020 – Covid-19 in the Media
Facilitator: Steven Youngblood is the founding director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University in Parkville, Missouri USA, where he is a communications and peace studies professor. He has organized and taught peace journalism seminars and workshops in 27 countries/territories.Youngblood is a two-time J. William Fulbright Scholar (Moldova 2001, Azerbaijan 2007). He also served as a U.S. State Department Senior Subject Specialist in Ethiopia in 2018.Youngblood is the author of “Peace Journalism: Principles and Practices” and “Professor Komagum.” He edits “The Peace Journalist” magazine, and writes and produces the “Peace Journalism Insights” blog.Youngblood has been recognized for his contributions to world peace by the U.S. State Department, Rotary International, and the World Forum for Peace, which will award him the Luxembourg Peace Prize in May, 2020.
April 9, 2020 – Pandemic Complexities for Refugees
Facilitator: Letitia Harmon is a political science and anthropology adjunct at JCCC. She has previously worked as an International Human Rights consultant in the US, India, Nepal, Kenya, and Kuwait. She has a master's in International Relations from the University of Washington, Jackson School of International Studies.
April 2, 2020 – Global Economy
Facilitator: Randall Moore served as Executive Editory of Blue Chip Economic Indicators from 1986 to 2019, a nationally-known economic forecasting newsletter. Prior to that he worked in Washington DC at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Department o Labor's Beureau of Labor Statistics, and Evan's Economics.
March 26, 2020 – Oil
Facilitator: Kirk Doan
February 20, 2020 – Coronavirus: International Implications of a Viral Outbreak
Facilitator: Kirk Doan is an expert in health law at Stinson LLP.
January 23, 2020 – Global Impact of Aging Populations
Facilitator: Melissa Miller is the senior manager of the World Trade Center–Kansas City.
November 13, 2019 – Current Events in Mexico
Facilitator: Mary Sanchez is a seasoned and syndicated journalist.
September 19, 2019 – GDP as a Measure of Well-Being
Location: Songbird Cafe
Facilitator: Dr. Tom Patterson is the director of international education at Johnson County Community College
August 29, 2019 – Ebola and Public Health
Location: Char Bar
Facilitator: Dr. Nathan Bahr is an assistant professor of infectious diseases at the University of Kansas. In addition to seeing patients with all types of infectious conditions and teaching medical trainees, Dr. Bahr conducts research funded by the National Institutes of Health related to improving the diagnosis of tuberculosis meningitis and histoplasmosis. Dr. Bahr's research is conducted locally and in Uganda and he has active research collaborations around the world. Dr. Bahr spent a significant portion of his training in Uganda where his meningitis work is conducted as part of a multi-disciplinary, international team - he continues to visit Uganda frequently.
July 20, 2019 – Media and Horrifying Images
Location: Calibration Brewery (North Kansas City, MO)
Facilitator: Steven Youngblood is the founding director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University in Parkville, Missouri USA, where he is a communications professor. He has organized and taught peace journalism seminars and workshops in 26 countries and territories. Youngblood is a two-time J. William Fulbright Scholar (Moldova 2001, Azerbaijan 2007). He also served as a U.S. State Department Senior Subject Specialist in Ethiopia in 2018. Youngblood is the author of “Peace Journalism: Principles and Practices” and “Professor Komagum.” He has been recognized for his contributions to world peace by the U.S. State Department, Rotary International, and the UN Association of Kansas City.
June 20, 2019 – Turkey Today
Location: Tanner's Bar & Grill (Kansas City, Kansas)
Facilitator: Dessa Crum currently works with international and immigrant students at Johnson County Community College as a student services coordinator and ESL instructor. Before her time at JCCC, she taught English in the Turkish cities of Gaziantep and Antalya from 2013 to 2016. She was one of thousands of instructors who lost their jobs during the purge following the 2016 coup attempt.
May 23, 2019 – European Elections
Location: Kokoro Maki House (Kansas City, MO)
Facilitator: Kit Dawson is the Business Intelligence Strategist for the PKD Foundation. A graduate of Oberlin College with degrees in History and English, Kit is a regular IRC volunteer and international education enthusiast.
April 24, 2019 – 25 Years After Rwanda: Atrocity Prevention and U.S. Policy
Location: CommuniTea (Overland Park, KS)
Facilitator: Daniel R. Mahanty leads the Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) in its efforts to promote the adoption of U.S. government policies that improve the protection of civilians in war. Prior to joining CIVIC, Dan spent 16 years at the U.S. Department of State, including tours in Morocco, Burundi, and Sweden, along with assignments focused on counterterrorism, rule of law, and human rights. Dan holds a Master's degree from Georgetown, and a Bachelor's degree from George Mason University. His writings have appeared in the National Interest, USA Today, Defense One, and other publications.
March 14, 2019 – Animal Conservation in South Africa
Location: Seasons 52 (Kansas City, MO)
Facilitator: Following many years in the health care field, Mike Wood taught on the health administration faculty of the Bloch School of Management at UMKC. Earlier in his career, he served as a volunteer and senior staffer in the Peace Corps, including six years in Southeast Asia and two years in Africa. He has consulted widely in the U.S. and abroad on health policy and organization.
February 28, 2019 – Venezuela
Location: Sol Cantina (Kansas City, MO)
Facilitator: Kirk Doan is a business lawyer specializing in the health care industry with Stinson Leonard Street LLP. Kirk has visited over 30 foreign countries and hosted a Chinese exchange student. He is active in a Great Decisions group, many community organizations, and served on the staff of the World Scout Jamborees in England in 2008 and Sweden in 2011. He avidly collects postage stamps of all countries of the world and now serves on the IRC's board of directors.