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Emory Law community message from Professor Zwier

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Note: This message was sent to the Emory Law community on Sept. 18, 2018

Dear Torts students and members of the Law School community,

In speaking the “N word” two weeks ago in class, I said a word that can and does cause harm, and I am writing to you to take responsibility for the harm I caused.  

When I am reminded of the thoughts that go through one’s mind when anyone uses the “N word,” I must fully acknowledge what a mistake it was to say the word. Any attempt to explain ignores the fears and realities of racism that still haunt our society and my responsibility for protecting our community from it. I fell short in discussion of matters that are important for us to understand about the response of the law to changes in evolving views of race in American society. 

I have learned from this experience, and I am committed to taking positive steps - altering my Torts materials and teacher’s manual to better insure that what happened is less likely to happen again in future discussions of these cases. In my classroom teaching, I will also endeavor to be more sensitive in future conversations about cases involving allegations of racist behavior.

Please accept my apology. 


Paul Zwier 

Professor Paul J. Zwier
Dr. Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution
Emory University School of Law

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