The IRC is a non-profit organization founded in 1954 with the mission to educate and engage the region in understanding global affairs. Our founder, Eliot Berkley, understood that our community is stronger when our citizens have a global perspective, that our students are more competitive when they have access to international opportunities and information, and that our businesses are more prosperous when they can engage in global trade and expansion.
The IRC implements cutting-edge and timely global affairs programming for people of all ages! IRC brings dignitaries and foreign policy experts to regional audiences, engages community members in thoughtful discussion about current global issues, and implements a variety of international programs for area high schools.
Since 1954, the International Relations Council has been at the forefront of global affairs education in the bi-state Kansas City metro region. Advances in technology, global conflict, fluctuating relationships between the United States and other nations, and shifting socio-economic demographics of the Kansas City region have repeatedly forced the IRC to refine its role. The IRC has succeeded in sustaining and strengthening its presence across the metro region by remaining true to its mission and developing relationships with core academic institutions and corporations. To sustain our leadership, we must continue to embrace technology, think outside of the box, be nimble and responsive to global trends, and listen closely to the input and expertise of our strong network.
As the executive director of the International Relations Council since December 2013, I fully embrace the vision of our founder. I believe that our community is stronger when we have a global perspective, and I can personally attest to the fact that my life, knowledge, and experience are richer as a result of my background in international studies and language. I thrive, both personally and professionally, when I can interact with people from diverse perspectives and backgrounds and who speak languages other than English. I also feel the strongest when I can connect with information that makes foreign policy and global affairs relevant for my family and community. I understand that conflict, peace, disease, health, economic turmoil, and stability thousands of miles away can impact our lives right here in the metro region. I came to the IRC because I want to share that curiosity and desire to understand the world, and its relevance to my daily life, with others.
The IRC is supported by a community of organizations and individuals who recognize the need for a global perspective to stay competitive in this constantly changing world. The IRC implements cutting-edge and timely global affairs programming for people of all ages. IRC brings dignitaries and foreign policy experts to regional audiences, engages community members in thoughtful discussion about current global issues, and implements a variety of international programs for area high schools.
Our organizational partners – academic institutions and corporations - are an important component of our mission. Many of our organizational partners provide leadership on our board of directors, provide guidance on pressing global issues, and both inspire and inform our timely and informative programs.
Our individual members provide crucial monetary and in-kind support.
We understand that to remain a viable leader, we must continually reexamine and refine the way that we provide global affairs education. Internet technology has shifted the way that we receive and process information, more and more university students are pursuing online academic programs, and K-12 students are increasingly changing schools as their parents change jobs or move. We must be able to reach individuals where they are. Thoughtful, long-term planning will help the IRC to reach broader audiences, including more youth, university students, and families. We are currently engaged in strategic planning discussions that should strengthen our work moving forward.
We are currently engaged in strategic planning discussions that should strengthen our work moving forward. We are also strengthening aspects of our governance work to ensure that all board members are engaged in these discussions and have the opportunity to provide input.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
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