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RCN Foundation launches grant for nurse-led anti-racism projects

RCN Foundation launches grant for nurse-led anti-racism projects
Michelle Cox. Credit: Zac Grant, Caseus Photography

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Foundation is inviting applications for nurse-led projects aiming to oppose racism and promote racial equality.

The Michelle Cox RCN Foundation Anti-Racism Award is open to registered nurses and midwives across the UK, providing they are RCN members, with grants of £2,500 awarded annually through a competitive process.

Funded projects will target transformation of unequal workplace relations that negatively impact individuals from the global majority, the RCN Foundation, a charity attached to the RCN, advised.

Examples offered include the development of webinars and virtual learning packages, global majority development programmes, reverse mentoring programmes and advocacy programmes with the aim of building anti-racist workplaces.

Project applications should include consultation with experts and stakeholders, including service users, to ensure that the diversity of the workforce and the local population is considered, the foundation added.

The award is a partnership between the RCN Foundation and Michelle Cox, a senior Black nurse from Liverpool who won a landmark case against the NHS for racial discrimination.

A ruling published earlier this year found that between 2019 and 2021, Ms Cox had faced discrimination, harassment and victimisation from her employer, and that her whistleblowing claims about her employer had not been upheld after she raised a grievance and appeal.

Since then, Ms Cox has been working with the RCN, which represented her at the tribunal, to create an award that aims to support nursing and midwifery staff in tackling anti-racism.

Applications are open from 2 October to 6 November, and the RCN Foundation said the award process would be ‘equitable, accessible and fair’.

Ms Cox said: ‘It was imperative that the application criteria is inclusive – so whether you are a single-handed practitioner or part of a wider team or network the criteria has that flexibility.

‘Nothing is out of the realm – be creative and imagine a world without discrimination.’

She added: ‘Developing a culture of anti-racism improves race equality and promotes an environment of psychological safety.

‘Those who have experienced race discrimination, or in fact discrimination in all its guises will understand the importance of feeling safe.

‘Ultimately, all anti-discrimination work will not only benefit our workforce but patients too.’

Deepa Korea, RCN Foundation director added: ‘Michelle Cox’s commitment to promoting inclusivity stands as a testament to the importance of addressing discrimination in nursing and midwifery.

‘Her unwavering commitment to change echoes through this award, offering hope and inspiration to those who oppose racism and promote racial equality within nursing and midwifery.

‘We are proud to work alongside Michelle to support projects that lead to long-lasting and positive change.’

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