RCN Foundation partners with Michelle Cox to launch anti-racism award

The RCN Foundation is proud to announce the Michelle Cox RCN Foundation Anti-Racism Award.

RCN Foundation partners with Michelle Cox to launch anti-racism award.This is an annual award aimed at recognizing and celebrating efforts to combat racism within the healthcare sector through funding a nurse or midwifery led project. This award is a testament to our commitment to fostering equality and inclusivity within nursing and midwifery.


Michelle Cox, a distinguished nurse, and advocate for anti-racism, has been instrumental in driving this initiative forward. Determined to create a positive legacy from the devastating impact of her own experiences and motivated by the need for change, Michelle spearheaded the creation of this award. Grants will be made to projects that aim to support nursing and midwifery staff to tackle anti-racism and transform unequal workplace relations that negatively impact individuals from the global majority.

In its Spotlight on Nursing and Midwifery Report 2023, the Nursing and Midwifery Council highlighted the racism and discrimination experienced by staff from the global majority, stating that “the health and care sector is failing to provide a just, inclusive environment in which all Black and minority ethnic nurses, midwives and nursing associates can thrive and progress.” Ultimately, the report concluded that “racism is affecting the quality of care and retention.”

The launch of the Michelle Cox Anti-Racism Awards during Black History Month serves as a poignant reminder of the need to confront racism in all its forms. This award aims to both celebrate the achievements of individuals and communities and confront the racism that persists today.

Michelle Cox said: There are so many NHS staff, including nurses and midwives, doing incredible work on the anti-racism agenda but, it is often done in silos and struggles to be sustainable or replicated beyond their current team. By working with the RCN Foundation, I believe there is a real opportunity to expose great practice and to share these models. There are very few awards specifically for anti-racism and unfortunately, this work is often uncelebrated.

My case has undoubtedly retraumatised staff, reawakening their own experiences of racism. Challenging race discrimination is difficult – there are huge risks for individuals to step into that space, and some organisations are not mature, or not yet ready, to listen to these challenges. Awards not only provide a fantastic opportunity to celebrate excellence but are huge motivators for organisations – they boost morale for individuals and can put winning projects directly in the spotlight to provide education and learning.”

Deepa Korea, RCN Foundation Director said: “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.”

Applications are open from 2 October – 6 November 2023. To find out more about the grant and to apply, visit here.