Who is the "we" you're talking about? Certainly not my Black self.
From how I look at it, you're approaching it from the wrong angle. Like a lot of White people, you seem to think diversity is something White people do for people of color rather than simply the reality we live in. This article gives additional reasons why that perspective is problematic.
It's easy to shift the blame to audiences - "those uptight old White folks" - instead of looking at what you (as in your group or organization and your network) have to offer us that we can't get on our own (I touched on this over on my blog). If your website talks about encouraging diversity, producing innovative new works and supporting emerging artists but only show White faces, are you really surprised that Black theatre artists aren't banging on your door? If you talk about how much wanting more Black plays, and you're not looking for us, are you really surprised that you don't find us? When the only time you're interested in who we are and what we say is when you feel bad about being so White, are you surprised when we take a pass?
Really, do y'all think Black people are stupid?
Seriously, none of this is new. Know how I can tell? Because the same fucking questions crop up in every other industry experiencing Caucasian overload, every other lily-white neighborhood, every other White-dominated area that struggles with diversity. The White people involved in the discussion are bringing the same assumptions and making the same mistakes. Here are some right off the top of my head:
- Treating diversity as a service White people do for people of color
- Focusing more on changing programming than distributing resources
- Working from the assumption that White people should lead the process
- Keeping real power concentrated in the hands of White people
- Trying to create new strategies (generally devised by White people) and methods whole-cloth instead of looking at methods and strategies already in place by people of color
You want to change things? It's pretty simple. Put up or shut up. Seek us out. Figure out what we're doing. Help us do it. It's not like we're not out here. I've lived in Brooklyn for a year and a half. You tired of monochromatic theatre? You looking for new voices from people of color? I'M RIGHT HERE! Where the fuck you at?