The Kansas City Branch of the English-Speaking Union was organized in 1920, the same year the National organization was formed.  The world headquarters of the ESU is in London, England and the U.S. headquarters is in New York City.  There are 70 branches in the U.S., 37 branches in the U.K. and branches in 53 countries on all five continents.  The ESU is a non-profit, non-political organization which celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and goodwill by providing education and cultural opportunities for students, educators and members.

  The main goals of the ESU:

    Advances global understanding by providing educational opportunities through programs and scholarships for students, educators and members;

    Promotes communication and the open exchange of ideas among the world's speakers of English;

    Enriches communities through active involvement of its branch members in outreach programs;

    Offers financial assistance to students and educators to further academic pursuits in English-related studies; and

    Develops common bonds through a shared interest in the English language and culture to strengthen friendship among members and those they serve.

The Kansas City Branch participates in the following programs and events:

THE SHAKESPEARE COMPETITION:  There have been two National winners from Kansas City:  in 1992, David Roche, Blue Valley High School, and in 1994, Dannye Thompson, Paseo Academy; and, in 1997, Megan Birdsall, Shawnee Mission North High School, was a Second Place National Winner.

THE BRITISH UNIVERSITIES SUMMER SCHOOL FELLOWSHIPS:  These fellowships are offered to secondary school teachers for summer study in the United Kingdom at The Globe, Oxford University and Edinburgh University.

WESTMINSTER COLLEGE, Fulton, MO:  We are host to the Westminster College Fulbright-Robertson Visiting Professor of British History.  This annual lecture series generates international speakers with a wide range of topics of interest to the English-speaking community.
SIR EVELYN WRENCH SPEAKER PROGRAM:  Sir Evelyn Wrench founded the ESU-U.S. in 1920.  Wrench speakers address current events or subjects of cultural or historical interest.

OTHER CULTURAL AND SOCIAL EVENTS:  The K.C. Branch celebrates the birthday of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II annually.  We also support the fine educational programs and entertainment of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.  And, in the Fall, we participate in the annual British Faire in Lenexa, Kansas.

    We welcome your support and invite you to join our Branch.  If you would like membership information, please contact Jeff Schnabel, President, English-Speaking Union, K.C. Branch at kansascity@esuus.org or go to www.esuus.org/kansascity