Dr. Cox denies being fired, and chronicle her departure from Urban Renewal



Dr. Desiree Cox

Dr. Desiree Cox sets the record straight on her departure from Urban Renewal Programme. In fairness to Dr. Cox we post her replay today in its entirety and as responsible journalist, Bahamas Press apologies to both Dr. Desiree Cox and Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham for our headline on August 31St. 


I have heard many different versions of the stories relating to my involvement and role in shaping the urban renewal initiative and the completion of my tenure with urban renewal in November 2007. And up to this point I have said nothing. A still tongue makes a wise head. But there is a time to speak and a time to watch. And this is the time to speak. To set the record straight.

FIRST. I was not fired. I had a three year contract as consultant to the urban renewal commission. It was decided that the research which myself and my research team would have the opportunity to evolve in such a way as to inform public policy if it were connected to the College of the Bahamas – soon to be University of The Bahamas. Negotiations began to set this up. An agreement was made between COB, myself and the government (around Feb/March 2007). The papers for a position of Senior Research Scholar was agreed upon. The new government was not minded to fullful on this agreement. Nothing further was spoken about this contract and I was unable to get any word on the position regarding the post. My contract, as consultant to Urban renewal was thus extended until November 2007. I did not see the kind of committment, funding, political will, organizational structure, necessary for such an initiative to be successful. When my contract came to an end, I wrote a note thanking the government for the opportunity to serve my country in the capacity of consultant to the urban renewal initiative, and I moved on.

This is not being fired. Governments have the right to choose what they give there energy to and who they chose to employ to assist them in putting their policies into action.

Now. Here’s the thing. This is a critical time for The Bahamas, and indeed for many Caribbean countries. The past thirty-five years past independence have been spent in short-term initiatives and policies. One government comes in, kills the projects of its predecessors, and over time this has a negative effect on development human development.

Much of what I did during my time with urban renewal was about finding and documenting the facts (not facts about the success of urban renewal, urban renewal was merely a vehicle for social and cultural transformation on a national scale, with particular attention to people in tough neighborhoods) and speaking a new vision into being. The visionary part is the most important. Everything begins with a dream, an idea of a new possibility. And when people in tougher neighborhoods have the freedom to dream and, most of all, get that they really can make their dreams come true, then transformation happens. Transformation at the soul level. But this requires work. And the idea of homework/afterschool clubs/classes – outside of school – based in communities, and bands, and music, and all the other clubs that went on these areas, create the context for the community participating in cultural and social process of the country. Its not just about kids getting their homework done. Its about communities remembering to help each other in positive ways, about creative ways of creating the context of public participation in ways that allow for long term engagement.

There’s a lot more I could say about that. But not now.


Change has a cycle in The Bahamas, and the caribbean. The first thing people in this country do to a new/novel idea is pour scorn onto it. Usually without fully understanding what they are pouring scorn onto or, most of all, the negative impact of their words. Then, after they have killed the thing, or almost killed the idea, and see that there was some merit, they try and rescue some fragments of it, or slap up an half-baked version of it, rename it and reintroduce it. We would do well to take a more mature approach of observing and reshaping novel concepts, keeping what works for us, and reshaping the parts that are not working as well as we’d like them to.

FINALLY. Urban renewal was not personal. Neither was it political for me. It was what was and still is needed for the country, it was an opportunity to contribute to the country. And that is that.

If my contributions are not needed then so beit. My position on these things: say what you have to say in this life and move on. Those who get it, get it. Those who don’t don’t. Its all good (or as a good of mine puts it, its all God).

But at a national level, at some point, people will start to miss the water, hopefully, they’ll do act before the well runs dry.

one love

Dr Desiree Cox


  1. Dr. Cox do not worry this their lost. they had a smart woman handling that Urban Renewal Programme and they do fool and mess up. They gonna need you, they soon come back with tears in their eyes.
    what a pitty people cannot see good quality.
    You could of being teaching them children all
    kind of things, they could of benefit from you. Now, they will be first one to say they dont know what is wrong with our youths. You did good while you could of. You will be remember.

  2. MBA need to shut up it is empty heads like him who think every person with common sense must be some political sluth but there are persons like Desiriee Cox who has earned her way in this life and is a mentor for every Bahamian in this country, MBA need to get a life of go sit by a fire hydrant and chill

  3. To me this whole thing describes FIRING. Read the paragraph that begins “SECOND”….I dont care what no one says….this woman was fired.

  4. I didn’t know you had all of this music and poetry inside. I checked your website. Its great. People in the Bahamas need to know more about you. All the best to you.

  5. Dr. Cox has already proven that she is CUT FROM A DIFFERENT CLOTH. She has presented her name and responds in her name. MBA could never do such a thing.

    Bahamas Press / Editor

  6. Dr.Cox , With a person such as M.B.A,your comments and poem is wasted . For him/her to understand a control case study re: urban renewal is the same as asking the meaning of ” life ” . It is most difficult for persons with limited intellectual ability to understand anything outside their small social grouping .

  7. Dr. Cox , With the I.Q. of a person such as an M.B.A. the poem is wasted , for him/her to understand your control case study of urban renewal ,is asking a bit much . As with most persons with limited ‘ability , their understanding do not reach beyond their little grouping

  8. Whose society are you talking about MBA? Truth is we are not all living in the same society.

    Here’s a poem (from my book which will be out next year). Just one of the worlds some of us live in, have lived or continue to live in

    Its called ‘Sunday Times’

    Sunday Times

    By Dr Desiree Cox

    Well when I see Sister Sheila step
    Face paint up like Jezebel
    Royal blue satellite dish of a Sunday
    Hat kick off to one side
    Mountain breasts ranging
    Under skirt suit the color of Caribbean
    Sea and sky
    Her hard farm funnel foot
    Squeeze tight inside
    Navy-blue battle ship
    Shoes I thought my hour had come Lord
    Knows I likes to die. Is only
    Jesus one keep me from
    Bringing down the house
    Of God with a hollering
    Laugh I quickly disguise as speaking
    In tongues under the influence
    Of Holy Ghost fire and brimstone
    Till choir conductor flash me a look
    To kill on account of
    The wrong-note I power up
    Through ceiling beams infested
    With mice and termite
    Racking up voltage enough
    To backfire and send choir
    Off center

    ‘It is well. It is well with my soul’
    We sang that Sunday morning
    I see Sister Sheila she sit
    Back pin straight throughout
    Pastor Sherman abracadabra oration
    Recalling chapter and verse from Bible
    And Saturday news report
    On crime rate now apocalyptic
    ‘Is a disgrace,’ him insist. ‘Church
    Women children rendering
    Horizontal service to politicians
    In private practice.’ At which point
    Sister Gloria touch sister
    Clotilda brother Joe scratch he head
    Brother Mack rock back
    Sister Sheila drop open
    Her crocus bag mouth.

    Well up
    Is what Shaggy ‘Church Heathen’
    Reggae song did inside me when
    Sister Sheila pitch up screaming
    ‘Sinners repent. Repent or else’
    Pastor hold he mouth
    In shock immediately
    Announcing alter call
    Him face starched and queasy.
    Pentecostal heaven
    Don’t come easy.
    Next thing I see
    Pastor put up he hand
    Make a stand
    Beacon one peasy-head
    Nine-teenager holding a belly full
    Of Sister Sheila unborn great grand.

  9. Thanks for your comments Dr. Cox. My point, perhaps you have missed. However, please note there is absolutely no interest here in a debate of Urban Renewal and/or pesonalities involved. Urbal Renewal has ALWAYS been a part of our society and will continue.Totally disagree that “at some point, people will start to miss the water…”

  10. MBA you seem to want a debate about writing-style and grammar. Perhaps you might aquaint yourself with debates about the use creole grammar in modern Caribbean writing. Walcott, Naipaul, Lovelace and other Caribbean writers make a strong case case for Caribbean people exploiting creole grammar in ‘new Caribbean’ writing.

    Your ‘view point’, and comment about ‘toooooo many folks who elect to be champions for the poor ONLY if they are being compensated to do so’ show just how little you know about me, and my contributions before urban renewal and since. But then again, it seems you have no interest in facts.

    Again. You have missed the point. This is not debate about personalities.

    Honestly. If this is the best you can contribute to a proper debate on public participation and community transformation then, as the others have suggested, your comments really are not worth responding to.

  11. MBA I disagree with you strongly. Just because someone has the capacity to do something doesn’t mean they should be held to only doing that “one thing” for the rest of their life. Maybe she has served her time and believes she would be better suited for something else. There are many young Bahamians coming up-she may be stepping aside to give other aspiring Bahamians a chance.

  12. We have tooooooo many folks who elect to be champions for the poor ONLY if they are being compensated to do so! This is sad!

  13. I maintain my view point as earlier stated if she feels so STRONGLY about her visionary approach, specifically “finding and documenting the facts re Urbal Renewal then she should continue with her efforts in another capacity i.e. volunteer and organize programmes in the neighbourhoods she terms “tough” by soliciting funding on her own.

    By the way DOCTOR Cox, I think you meant “ought” rather than aught regarding your last sentence. Also, I maintain your writing style blog or not is ugh!

  14. The chickens have finally come home to roost and the inaction of defenders of the Urban renewal project is despicable.This project caused my grandchildren to potray pride in the musical instruments they played and the lessons learnt from the after school program.Unfortunately a person like Miss Cox has been left to defend the program alone as everyone else ran for cover.No amount of money can be used to pay Mrs Cox who was like many other Bahamian professionals employed overseas because they have not been accepted in the own country.Finley and MBA you are out of order and should hang your heads in shame for being so shallow.We have dropped the ball again as the ideas expressed by Cox would have gone a long way in shaping the growth of our precious darlings.

  15. It is a pity that some persons are only able to see every situation as political and once it concerns the organization that they support the hell hath no fury like …..Let us get beyond this and respond as Bahamians who love their country and show a willingness to accept good ideas no matter the source.In reading the response from Dr Cox I see someone who is a nationalist willing to use her expertise for the benefit of the less fortunate in our society.The program that Dr Cox outlined that would have involved the College of the Bahamaas is noteworthy since all countries use institutes of higher learning to study and measure projects.The remarks by MBA and Finley are insulting and political and not worth further comments.The disadvantaged Bahamian youth need persons of the calibre of Dr Cox to bring new ideas and focus to their lives and not critics with nothing to offer.It is nice to hear from Dr Cox and now the true story is being told lut us embrace the thoughts and develop programs to benefit the disadvantaged. MBA as a product of over the hill I cry shame on you for attacxking the good lady all for the benefit of your political masters propoganda.

  16. MBA. Sound like you jealous of Dr Cox. Or you upset about something else. Seemed to me she was just setting the record straight. Her response was not personal. But yours seemed to be. I listened to what Dr Cox had to say on her TV programs and in her articles in the Nassau Guardian. It wasn’t just the same old thing ‘urban renewal’ she was talking about. Anyway you slice it, what happened from 2002 – 2007 as far as renewal of those areas was concerned took the conversation to another level. I think she did a good job. I applaud well rounded down to earth Bahamians who step into the front line and help to make a difference for less fortunate people.

  17. Another thing Mr editor of Bahamas Press. My responses are for the blog commentary, not as full articles. If you want to publish my comments are articles please let me know. Blogs and full articles are quite different beasts.

    Dr Desiree Cox

  18. Its interesting that your reader ‘MBA’ is under the impression that I am bitter. Quite the contrary. Also, blogging is an informal communication style. Lets not get into a pissing match about ‘writing’ or writing styles. Please.

    As for Thomas Finley’s point. The point is well taken. But you could not possibly be lumping me in the category of educated people who ‘rob and pillage and mash up de place’. I challenge you to present me with a single me doing that. And as for ‘too much emphasis being placed on book work and grades as opposed to applications, being funtional, properly socialised, and taught the importance of hobbies and intellectually curiosity’ again you could not possibly be referring to me. Do your homework before you blast off. Please. Check out my website http://www.soulimagination.org.

    Not being ‘bitter’ just straight talking (MBA, this is informal communication).

    The point is not about being in government to make a difference. Most certainly, one does not need to be in government to make a difference to ones country or to be effective. But having governments have a critical role in shaping the destiny of a country.

    On the point of feeling ‘stongly about her visionary approach’ etc. I will choose what I do with my life and how I make a difference thank you very much.

    Get this (MBA, informal speak) people in this country seem to have no problems sounding off – with no regard for the facts – and hiding under anonymous covers. What I say to this type of response is – have the steel to show your face, and do your homework before you vomit up the first thing that rushes into your head. And (MBA, this is more informal blogging speak) pay attention to how you live, how you use your talents, and what difference you make in your communities instead of mind other peoples business and suggesting or telling them what they aught to do.

    Dr Desiree Cox

  19. “Additionally, if she feels so STRONGLY about her visionary approach, specifically “finding and documenting the facts re Urbal Renewal then she should continue with her efforts in another capacity i.e. volunteer and organize programmes in the neighbourhoods she terms “tough” by soliciting funding on her own”

    I agree with you MBA. For some reason Bahamians believe that they need to be in government to make a difference. One may be more effective outside of government as it may give you critical independence. I would like to say that fundamentally it is about education. Educated people develop values. Educated people do not rob and pillage and mash up de place! We need to start here. We need to define education, and set goals for the development of children. Too much emphasis is being placed on book work and grades, as opposed to apllications, being functional, properly socialised, and taught the importance of hobbies, and intellectual curiosity.

  20. Additionally, if she feels so STRONGLY about her visionary approach, specifically “finding and documenting the facts re Urbal Renewal then she should continue with her efforts in another capacity i.e. volunteer and organize programmes in the neighbourhoods she terms “tough” by soliciting funding on her own.

  21. ….interesting!!!! She sounds veeery bitter.

    Additionally, for a Rhodes Scholar her writing is ugh! She ought to appreciate as an academic that “change is constant”. There is no need to be bitter. We have ALWAYS had urban renewal. WE DONT NEED TO PAY SOMEONE SIX FIGURES to coordinate this concept!!!

  22. We must say, this is one person, if the government wanted to move the country forward, who should have been retained.

    Bahamas Press is a firm believer that persons who represented this country well and honourably, should be included in whatever role the leadership has. Dr. Cox is a competent sharp BRAIN the Bahamas cannot loose. We URGE the Ingraham government to please find a place for her.

    There are many young persons who are out there working hard at being high achievers and hope to one day return to make a meaningful contribution to this country. HUBERT INGRAHAM PLEASE GIVE DR. COX a place, so young Bahamians will see that there is a place in this country for them.

    Bahamas Press/ Editor

Comments are closed.