Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss will be in Lexington on Thursday promoting his passion for improving civics education in schools.
Dreyfuss will be the keynote speaker at the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship's annual Student Congress, which brings a top college junior from each state to Lexington for a five-day seminar on the role of diplomacy, dialogue, negotiation and mediation in public life and international affairs.
Earlier in the day, Dreyfuss will speak at Sayre School to a regional group of students, high school civics and history teachers, and university professors who train civics and history teachers.
Both presentations are by invitation only and are not open to the public.
Carey Cavanaugh, a former U.S. diplomat who directs the University of Kentucky's Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, said he met Dreyfuss last week in New York at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations. Cavanaugh said that when Dreyfuss heard about the Henry Clay Center's program, he wanted to be part of it.
Dreyfuss, 62, has appeared in dozens of movies, including Jaws and Close Encounters of The Third Kind. He won an Academy Award for best actor for The Goodbye Girl. His new passion is The Dreyfuss Initiative, a non-profit organization focused on strengthening American democracy by promoting civics education.
"His message is that no matter what your occupation, it is important to be involved in the public policy process," Cavanaugh said.