"The majority of the people today believe that slavery is an evil of the past. Tragically we know that that is not the truth. It is vital that we continue to build knowledge and public awareness to challenge man’s inhumanity to man." Archbishop Desmond Tutu, patron of WISE. These words, written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in July 2006, define the ambition of the Institute for which he is patron and which is known as WISE. The mission of WISE is twofold. First, we shall help to deliver the knowledge base to which Archbishop Tutu refers. Second, we seek to raise public awareness of issues relating to slavery, emancipation, social justice and human rights, past and present.These goals inform all the work of WISE. As an interdisciplinary institute WISE will generate world class research; will provide a forum for academic discourse and interaction; and will actively partner others in advancing public understanding of both historic and contemporary slavery, thereby informing political and social change.