Cynthia Farrar is a scholar and civic entrepreneur with a special interest in engaging citizens as full partners in American democracy. Since 2002, she has orchestrated and studied nonpartisan deliberations among randomly invited citizens. In 2006, she launched Purple States, a video production company that brings the voices and experience of ordinary people into coverage of the politics and policies that affect them. Purple States series have appeared on major online platforms, including USA TODAY and the New York Times. She is developing this television series about red/blue couples in partnership with Authentic Entertainment.
Yuna studies sociopolitical cleavages, inequalities and the "side effects" of democratization — with special attention to belonging, citizenship and the discursive justifications of structures of domination. In her dissertation, she analyzes the tension between citizenship and belonging through the figure of the "citizen who does not belong" to think about two overarching themes: the democratic promises of equality, and the stickiness of sociopolitical inequalities. The dissertation proposes that formal membership has come to be understood as sufficient for belonging to political communities, effectively crowding out informal exchanges that are actually necessary to guarantee a substantive equal membership in political communities, which she dubs "democratic belonging." Her work combines political theory with ethnographic methods to ground debates of political theory within empirical realities. She received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.