Personal Statement

I’m an architect by trade—a design professional with more than 35 years of experience rooted in affordable housing. I’ve been in the business of creating buildings that change neighborhoods and serve as a foundation for a better future for underrepresented voices in the city.

Moving forward with Fluker Consulting, I have redefined how I think about my role and my focus is on architecting systemic equity.

Several years ago, after completing an affordable housing effort, I realized that the planning and development part of my career is a seed. It’s a vehicle for change. This came to light in a definitive way when my son’s grandmother and I had a conversation while walking the site. She asked me: “Do you know how many lives you impact?”

I adjusted my lens. I began focusing more intently on how the environments we create impact who we are and who we become. This purpose is what gets me out of bed every day.

My mission is simple: change lives.

That starts by making sure that critical conversations occur.  It means inviting new voices to the table and implementing real change for the long-term.  It’s a job that must include all of us. It’s not easy work. It’s necessary work. 

Engage Diverse Voices. My new career is to become a different type of architect—one that challenges the status quo and listens, advocates and speaks up for those who do not have a seat at the table. The end game is to build a platform for voices to be heard. I aim to create a plan that addresses what I call deferred maintenance (you might know it as inequity). 

Encourage Discussion. I’m committed to stewarding critical conversations that promote responsive, responsible planning and design that considers how the outcomes will change the narrative in the city’s neighborhoods. As a coach, mentor, advisor, and trusted partner, I reach into communities to guarantee that our strategies benefit the people. 

Inspire Change. This is mission work. It’s intervention. The goal is to have a lasting impact on how we design communities at risk and in decline. My hope is to inspire all people to consider their next chapters in life and how they can lead the next generation of this city in a positive direction. 

Focus on People. A graduate of John Marshall High School, I was raised in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood and initially thought I’d pursue a career in engineering. I was fascinated with the idea of studying and discovering innovative, new materials to use in design. This eventually transferred into pursuing a degree in architecture at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Architecture is central to people’s lives—it’s vital to how we live, work, travel, recreate and more. And today as a consultant inspiring change-making conversations and action, I’m still focused on “building” a better future for people.

Pass the Baton. It’s time to focus on developing the future leaders of our communities. We need to invite youth to the table—to give them a voice and the tools to become ambassadors on the ground level. Their perspective, involvement, commitment, and buy-in matters. This is one, very powerful way we can evolve into an economy where opportunities are within reach for every motivated, well-meaning individual who wants to lead us forward.

Reach In, Get Involved. An opportunity to serve life-changing organizations that are rooted in our communities and focused on elevating undeserved voices has provided me with an invaluable perspective. Through this involvement, just by listening, learning and offering context for necessary conversations, I have received far more than I could ever give. It’s about reaching in.


The independent, non-profit organization is dedicated to increasing safety and providing developmental opportunities for young people and communities. We focus on crime prevention. We have to interrupt and intervene in the lives of children and youth—from the day they are out of the womb. Our youth are the greatest asset. They are our future, and they need a seat at the table, a voice in the projects and initiatives that impact their lives. We can be a safer Cleveland when we engage youth by meeting them where they are and giving them the tools to be change-makers. 


It’s more than baseball. The mission of this non-profit is to preserve the history of diversity in the sport through entertainment, education, and outreach. Essentially, baseball is the vehicle for teaching leadership skills to underrepresented youth and showing them the multicultural heritage of baseball—and how they can make a difference. 


As an architect and design professional who has focused on affordable housing for more than 30 years, I consider this role my civic responsibility.  I want to ensure that the social impacts of planning and development are more clearly understood, and I consider it my job to start the tough conversations about systemic inequity. Serving this board affords me a unique opportunity to adjust the existing development lens and force a closer look at how developments could be leaving people behind. 


With a vision of “accessibility for all people,” this organization fights for a world that is designed without barriers based on ability. It opens doors of independence, collaboration, sustainability, and creativity so everyone can be part of their communities. The fully-accessible properties it owns serve people with mobility challenges who otherwise would struggle to live on their own.  As a result, they feel the sense of pride and belonging a home provides. 


Serving the board offers an opportunity, through education, to ensure that we are reaching into communities to deliver leadership, education, and creative experiences to all people through art. 


The foundation has made a commitment through its mission to invest in people the values, ability and passion to change the world. Through  its Community Development Corporate Leadership program—the first cohort—I serve as a coach to three executive directors during a year-long experience. Through the cohort, I provide  leadership training and skills to young people. After benefiting from my architectural profession and working at the ground level in Cleveland’s neighborhoods for more than 35 years, this is a way to give back and share my knowledge—it’s my job to support professional development  of our youth so they are prepared to take the reins. 

Thank You to My Family. I’m proud of my son, Edward Coleman Fluker, who is studying chemical engineering at Syracuse University and is carrying on our values of putting people in the center and making a difference. And I’m grateful to have an amazing partner in life—my wife, Jennifer Coleman, who is the program Director for Culture and Creative Arts at The George Gund Foundation. We met as architects where we worked at the first African-American registered architectural firm in Ohio, The Robert P. Madison Firm.