WiCDS is grounded in social justice imperatives, the research and education of the programme is informed by Melissa Steyn’s 2007 notion of Critical Diversity Literacy. The Centre has adapted the racial literacy concept developed by sociologist France Winddance Twine to analyse other axes of oppression, such as gender, sexuality, disability and class amongst others to describe the field of critical diversity studies as that which develops diversity literacy in scholars and researchers. The following are the ten criteria for critical diversity literacy.
Drawing on cutting edge social theory, the critical diversity studies lens opens up challenging research questions which emerge in the interstices of current disciplinary boundaries. These questions have the capacity to shift common sense assumptions about the social, enabling fresh and penetrating analyses of current social challenges. While no single research methodology need necessarily flow from critical diversity literacy, it involves the recognition of social construction and the constitutive role of discourse in employing critical social theory.
The centre also collaborates with Pitzer College in a study abroad programme offered by Pitzer in which undergraduate students come to Southern Africa for a semester long immersive experience in Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. During their stay in South Africa, students are hosted by WiCDS.