WHITLEY, R.(ROUSARA) JOYCE (20 May 1930-22 Dec. 1992), architect, city planner, and writer, served as chief planner for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (1967-68). She received awards for her architectural designs in Chicago and St. Louis. With a Rockefeller Fellowship in the Humanities at Brown University (1980), she wrote a play, Dreams of Callahan (produced at KARAMU HOUSE in 1990), about the effects of urban policies on neighborhoods. Whitley was born in Monroe, NC, to Beatryce Mae Nivens and Moses James Whitley. Her family moved to Warren, OH, where Whitley attended high school, and then to Cleveland. She attended Flora Stone Mather College and received a B.A. from Fiske University (1950), an M.A. in sociology from Western Reserve University (1953), and an M.A. in city and regional planning from the University of Chicago (1956). She later attended the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. In 1968 Whitley joined her brothers, James M. and and William, in forming the Whitley-Whitley, Inc. architectural firm in SHAKER HEIGHTS. By 1976 she was the firm's vice-president.
With her firm, Whitley designed projects across the country, including master plans for the North Side Preservation Group in St. Louis, the Civic Center in Atlanta, GA, the Cleveland Clinic Hotel, and the NASA LEWIS RESEARCH CENTER. She served on the executive committee of the American Institute of Planners (1972-73), the boards of the Harvard School of Design and the Black Economic Union, and belonged to the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and the National Organization of Minority Architects. She was a trustee of Karamu House (1973-75), an officer for United Torch Cleveland (1974-75), on the executive committee of UNIVERSITY CIRCLE, INC., and a member of the Cleveland Planning Commission.
Whitley was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.