While in-person programs are on hold for now, there are so many ways to stay engaged with the world in this time of social distancing. For the last 65 years, the IRC has been first and foremost a community, and we are committed to continuing to bring together different people, backgrounds, and experiences in deep-dive conversations and explorations of the world around us. Here we offer resources, activities, and webinars that can offer a global perspective, even when we can't be together in person. For other ways to stay connected, please consider joining an IRC committee or planning team or attending an upcoming virtual event. We look forward to seeing you again soon!
Note: While the IRC diligently scours resources for relevance and appropriateness, we are not responsible for the content of any of the linked content providers.
Content for Everyone: The World at Home
Kansas City Public Library
During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Kansas City Public Library has been working with digital service providers to increase borrowing periods and expand the collection of digital items available for checkout. Click below for access to digital resources like audiobooks, magazines & news, videos, apps, eBooks, music, online learning, and more.
Link to the library's COVID-19 Community Resources page
Link to digital content
KCUR 89.3, Kansas City’s public radio station, first broadcast in 1957. A charter member of NPR, KCUR holds itself to the highest journalistic standards in service to the citizens of Kansas, Missouri, the broader Midwest, and the nation. Content encompasses music and talk programs; feature and breaking news reporting; a daily newsletter; podcasts; and numerous community events. The station also leads Harvest Public Media and the Kansas News Service, among other collaborations.
At Kansas City PBS, we tell the stories of our community. From productions about local art and food to discussions on race and mental health, our local shows take an in-depth look at topics that matter in our city. See all past and current local productions here.
Kansas State University (KSU)
College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series
The K-State College of Business Administration places a special emphasis on business ethics and diversity. These programs seek to enhance the educational experience of students in both the College of Business Administration and the K-State community, while showcasing programs, faculty, and students to the international business community.
Link to recorded lectures
University of Kansas (KU)
The Hall Center for the Humanities Lectures
The Hall Center for the Humanities supports, creates, and disseminates research in the Humanities; provides an intellectual hub for scholars and students in the Humanities, Arts, and humanistic Social Sciences; and fosters interdisciplinary conversation across the university. Through its public programming, the Hall Center makes visible the significance and continued relevance of Humanities research, engaging diverse communities across the state in dialogue about local, national, and global issues that Humanities research addresses.
Link to recorded lectures
Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics
The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics is a nonpartisan political institution located at the University of Kansas and founded by the former U.S. Senator from Kansas and 1996 Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole.
Link to recorded programs
University of Missouri (MU)
African American Experience Lecture Series
Explore Missouri's past and prepare for the future through the African American Experience in Missouri lecture series. A collaboration of the State Historical Society of Missouri's Center for Missouri Studies and the University of Missouri Division of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, it is designed to offer the community opportunities to reach a new understanding of present-day Missouri by learning about the history of African Americans within the state.
Link to recorded lectures
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. TEDxKC was first started in 2015, and was hosted in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Link to videos from 2017
Link to TedxKCWomen 2018
Content for Kids: Learning Resources
CET – Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation
With all the news about COVID-19, it can be hard to know what to say to children and it can be difficult to know how to ease their concerns. Learn how to help you ease your child’s anxieties and help them learn to handle scary situations, with CET’s resource page.
K-12 Social Studies Lesson Plans, Activities, & Resources
A free publication of the Ohio Council for the Social Studies, this guide of publicly available civics, economics, financial literacy, geography, government, and history resources is perfect for teachers and parents who want to keep kids learning.
Link to resource guide
The Department of State
The U.S. Department of State has gathered 9 diplomacy simulations, where students can negotiate global challenges ranging from migration to wildlife trafficking. Learn more about the topics and download the free simulation materials by clicking here.
The Scholastic Learn at Home program offers three hours of learning per day with up to four weeks of instruction.
Free content link
The New York Times Learning Network
While the New York Times Learning Network always offers free Activities for Students and Lesson Plans for teachers, it is also offering Coronavirus Resource Page for Students.
Crash Course is a YouTube channel offering engaging educational videos suitable for high school students. Produced in part by famous Young Adult author John Green, the channel features a wide range of subjects, from anatomy to world history.
Link to free videos
Khan Academy, a free online learning resource offering lessons, exercises and quizzes, has daily schedules for organizing at-home learning for students ages 4 to 18 years. On weekdays, Khan Academy is also offering daily livestreams on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to help parents and educators best utilize the website's tools and resources.
PBS Full-Time Kid
Full-Time Kid is all about being arts, crafts, and experiments perfect for kids of all ages! From DIY science experiments to playground games, spunky eight-year-old Mya Reyes shares her tips, tricks and all around knowledge so you too can have what it takes to be a full-time kid.
Link to activities collection
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.
Free content link
Launched by The New York Academy of Medicine Library in 2016, #ColorOurCollections is an annual coloring festival on social media during which libraries, museums, archives and other cultural institutions around the world share free coloring content featuring images from their collections. The coloring books from 2020 and previous years remain accessible year-round for free download.
5 Children’s Book Authors Offering Free Online Videos to Kids
Click here for Pop Sugar’s collection of children’s authors free and engaging videos for kids.
Activities and online resources for homebound kids: A coronavirus guide
LiveScience has compiled an online resource list of educational and entertaining activities to keep kids stuck at home occupied.
Online Learning Flipboard
Created by Dana Watts, this Flipboard for educators and parents contains links to resources created by educators and organizations around the world to help facilitate online learning for students.
Content for Kids: Games
Breakout EDU is the immersive learning games platform that brings the challenges of an escape room to the classroom.
Free content link
BrainPop offers in-depth learning on topics across the curriculum for upper elementary and middle school students. Each topic includes videos, quizzes, related reading, and even coding activities. Teachers have access to planning and tracking resources too. They also offer BrainPop Jr., specially designed for younger kids.
Link to free social studies games
United States Mint – H.I.P. Pocket Change Kids Site
The United States Mint’s Kids page offers free, complete lesson plans for grades K-12. Use coins as a jumping-off point to teach science, social studies, math, and more. It also has a collection of online educational games for students to play.
Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government, a service of the Government Publishing Office (GPO), is designed to inform students, parents, and educators about the Federal Government, which issues the publications and information products disseminated by the GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program. It offers free educational games to teach a range of civics topics.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics in 2009 to transform the field through innovative, free educational video games and lesson plans that teach students to be knowledgeable, curious, and engaged in civic life. Today, iCivics is the nation’s largest provider of civic education curriculum, with our resources used by over 113,000 educators and more than 7.1 million students each year nationwide.
World Rescue is a narrative, research-based video-game inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Through fast-paced gameplay set in Kenya, Norway, Brazil, India, and China, you will meet and help five young heroes and help them solve global problems—such as displacement, disease, deforestation, drought, and pollution—at the community level. Available via on Google Play or the App Store.
Link to web information and access to the game
Content from the World Affairs Councils of America
The International Relations Council is part of a network of more than 90 councils around the country bringing programming on global issues to their local communities.
World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) KNOW NOW program
WACA's KNOW NOW calls feature global thought leaders hosted by WACA, as well as local authorities in government, business, academia, and cultural fields who are identified and moderated by local Councils.
Link to podcasts
World Affairs (formerly World Affairs Council of Northern California)
WorldAffairs is a nationally syndicated program broadcast on NPR affiliates across the country dedicated to curating conversations on both global challenges and global solutions.
Link to podcasts
Link to videos
Foreign Policy Association (FPA)
Great Decisions, created by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA), is America's largest discussion program on world affairs. The program model involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book, watching the DVD and meeting in a Discussion Group to discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. Due to social distancing policies required to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Foreign Policy Association has made the digital edition of the Great Decisions television series available for participants to stream in their homes. Narrated by Academy Award nominated actor David Strathairn, the eight half-hour documentaries, Great Decisions in Foreign Policy, each tackle a different challenge facing America today.
Link to previous Great Decisions episodes, and other Foreign Policy videos
Links to current streaming episodes can be found below:
Topic 1: Climate Change & the Global Order
Topic 2: India & Pakistan
Topic 3: Red Sea Security
Topic 4: Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking
Topic 5: U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle
Topic 6: China’s Road into Latin America
Topic 7: The Philippines & the U.S.
Topic 8: Artificial Intelligence & Data
Content That Brings the World to You
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Take a glimpse into Ancient Egypt with this impromptu virtual tour of some of the highlights of the featured exhibition, “Queen Nefertari: Eternal Egypt,” hosted by Nelson-Atkins Director Julián Zugazagoitia.
The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks
Follow rangers on a journey to places most people never go with this Google Arts & Culture collection of interactive and immersive virtual park experiences.
Free content link
Virtual Field Trips
Here is a list of over 30 free virtual field trips compiled by a school teacher, which you can use to travel to museums and parks all over the world, right from your home.
Explore.org, one of the world's leading philanthropic live nature cam networks and documentary film channels, is a community destination where people share thoughts, engage in dialogue, view and email films and photographs, and embed their favorites on blogs and social networking sites.
Link to 24/7 nature LiveCams
The Cincinnati Zoo – Daily Virtual Zoo Visits
The Cincinnati Zoo has announced that they're hosting daily "Home Safaris" at 3pm ET. These Home Safaris will be broadcast live on their Facebook page. Each Home Safari will feature a different animal and a related at-home activity.
Link to more information
Virtual Farm Tours
Click here to access the American Dairy Association’s free virtual farm tours for students, with videos designed for each different age group.
The 12 Best Virtual Vacations You Can Take Without Traveling
Be an armchair voyager and learn how to explore museums, libraries, and historical, religious, and cultural sites from home with this TripSavvy list of virtual vacations you can take from the comfort—and safety—of your own home.
15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage From Home
From Newsies to Sweeney Todd, click here to see Playbill’s list running down some of the best filmed Broadway shows—and where to find them.
Stuck at Home? Here are the Best Books to Transport You Overseas
For our readers, Forbes Travel has compiled a list, available here, of books which you can read that take you to your country of choice, right from your couch.
8 Travel Books Our Editors Are Reading Now
TripSavvy has also made a list of books that include a mixture of personal essays, historical fiction, and thought-provoking reads to help keep that wanderlust alive from the comfort of home.
14 Travel Movies and TV Shows Our Editors are Watching Now
TripSavvy rounded up 14 films, documentaries, and TV shows to satisfy your homebound wanderlust in this list here.
The Block on KCPT
The Block takes viewers on a journey through Kansas City’s streets to get a sense of the people and cuisine – the fabric of KC's neighborhoods. But this isn’t just a food show. There's history, culture, and unknown facts about Kansas City. You’ll go inside kitchens, see how food and drink products are made, and peek into the lives of everyday Kansas Citians working in the service industry.
Burnt Legend on KCPT
Kansas City is known for its legendary BBQ, but most live in a shroud of mystery concerning it's most iconic food item. Burnt Legend explores the history and process of making the uniquely Kansas City specialty called Burnt Ends.
If you’re cooped up and feel like making something tasty with what’s around, let Supercook do some of the work. Just enter what ingredients you have and Supercook will provide a menu.
Virtual Cooking Classes
Michelin-star chef, Massimo Bottura, is offering a nightly, free cooking series via his own personal Instagram page. Each night’s meal is a surprise, which Bottura likes to keep under wraps until the nightly airtime of 8pm CET.
Link to more information
Milk Street Cooking School
According to the website, Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Cooking School is part classroom, part playground and all kitchen. Learn to change the way you cook with these 15 free online courses.
Gemma’s Must-Try Spring Cooking Playlist
Bigger Bolder Baking's Gemma Stafford created this YouTube playlist of delicious side dishes and yummy desserts to get you ready for all your spring dinner needs!
Many Kansas and Missouri libraries offer free access to online language learning resources. Please contact your local library for more details.
Mango Languages is a fun, fast online system to learn 45 languages including Arabic, Spanish, French, Japanese, Portuguese, German, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Russian, Swahili and many more. Mango is a practical, interactive program, focused on conversation skills, so you’ll start speaking after just one lesson.
Link to Mango Languages (login from your local library required)
Pronunciator offers self-paced language learning for 80 languages and ESL for 50 non-English languages. Features include audio lessons, interactive textbooks, intelligent flashcards, pronunciation analysis, phrasebooks, and quizzes.
Link to Pronunciator (login from your local library required)
Duolingo is a free language learning app that helps kids (and adults) learn a language through short, game-like exercises, and motivates you to continue learning with a "streak" feature that tracks the number of days you've reached your point goal. Access is free, however, you can also subscribe to Premium for $10 a month for an ad-free experience and downloadable lessons.
If podcasts are your preference, click here for VeryWellMind’s guide to the 21 Best Meditation Podcasts to Listen to in 2020.
Blogilates Fitness for Beginners
If you’d like to get moving, Blogilates' Cassey Ho has a curated playlist of fitness videos for beginners available on YouTube.
Yoga For Beginners at Home
For those interested in yoga, Youtube Learning has a video playlist for you.
How to Dominate the Dancefloor at a Wedding
Get ready to brush up on your dance skills! These videos are teaching the dances you need to learn to keep up this wedding season.
10 Ways to Declutter & Get Organized
Too much stuff can become overwhelming. Here is a playlist of ways to get rid of the excess and start to make sense of it all.
The Science of Well-Being
In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change.
Coursera provides free courses in a wide variety of subjects that have been hand-picked by the learning team at Coursera. Includes course content from top universities, including Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, and Columbia.
Link to courses
Get 1,500 free online courses from the world's leading universities – Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford, and more. You can download over 45,000 hours of free audio & video lectures from iTunes, YouTube, or university web sites straight to your computer or smartphone.
Link to courses
Provided by the Council on Foreign Relations, World101 offers a growing library of multimedia resources that explain international affairs and foreign policy issues and processes through entertaining, interactive storytelling. Designed for a non-specialist, but of value to those with some knowledge as well, World101 is geared towards learners both inside and outside of formal academic settings. The World101 library will expand over the next two years to include approximately 50 modules that fall into six units: Global Era Issues, Regions of the World, Historical Context, How the World Works (and Doesn’t Work), Approaches and Tools of Foreign Policy, and The Making of U.S. Foreign Policy.
Link to modules
Akin to Coursera, edX also offers some great courses from the best universities around the globe, but they are not self-paced, entailing you to keep an eye on the timeline of your course. You can choose from a wide range of subjects, such as biology, business, computer sciences, finance, economics, medicine, music, philosophy, and physics.
Link to courses
YouTube.com/Learning is a destination designed to inspire and instruct that brings you the highest quality educational content on YouTube. Here you will find Learning Playlists, which organize content into chapters and are designed to facilitate focused study, YouTube Learning Originals to spark your curiosity, and curated playlists ranging in subjects from physics to film making.
Link to the Satisfy Your Curiosity Collection
Link to the Learn Something New Collection