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An Interview with WellMoney CEO Social Impact Activist Kortney Ziegler PhD

When celebrities stand up for social justice, it helps to illuminate the efforts of so many unsung heroes who take a principled stance in the world. We recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Kortney Ziegler, the CEO of WellMoney: 

1.Your background shows tremendous educational and social impact achievement – Can you tell us how your early work as a filmmaker and work on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community is informing your current role as social justice CEO for the financial community?

As a young filmmaker, I was always interested in stories that had the potential to create social change. I was particularly drawn to stories about underrepresented communities, because I felt that these were the stories that needed to be told. As I became more involved in the LGBTQ+ community as an out transgender person, I realized that there was a large underserved population within the community who didn’t have access to the resources they needed. This led me to my current role as CEO of a financial company that focuses on social justice. In this role, I’m able to use my platform to raise awareness about issues affecting marginalized communities and to provide resources that can help make a difference. I’m also able to work with other businesses and organizations to create inclusive environments for all employees. It’s been immensely rewarding to see how my work has positively impacted the lives of so many people, and I’m grateful to be able to continue this work in my current role.

2.Are you still involved in the film and music community – or do you see a future project for yourself?

My films are still shown in classrooms and festivals across the globe, which is so incredibly amazing. I am currently working on writing a script based on my childhood as a kid who grew up with a mentally ill parent. 

3.What set you on this path of connection and community – can you tell us your origin story as a social justice leader?

I was raised in a community that was very supportive of social justice issues. From a young age, I was taught the importance of equality and fairness, and I saw firsthand how discrimination could impact people’s lives. This sparked my interest in working to promote social justice, and I began to get involved in various organizations and activities. Over time, I developed a strong passion for this work, and I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to making a difference. I continued my education and training, and eventually became a social justice leader myself. Today, I continue to work tirelessly to fight for equality and fairness, and I hope to inspire others to do the same. We all have the power to make a difference in the world, and it starts with each of us taking action in our own communities.

4.Can you share some tips for our readers, revealing how to create self-empowering communities of support for financial and social wellness?

Self-empowerment is all about taking control of your life and making positive changes that will improve your financial and social wellness. One way to do this is to create a supportive community of like-minded individuals who can offer advice, resources, and motivation. Here are some tips for creating such a community:

  1. Find or create a safe space where members can openly discuss their financial goals and challenges. This could be an online forum, chat group, or even a physical meet-up group.
  2. Encourage members to be open and honest with each other. Creating an environment of trust is essential for a supportive community.
  3. Offer resources and information that can help members improve their financial and social wellness. This could include articles, books, websites, or even personal experiences.
  4. Motivate and encourage members to reach their goals. This could be done through setting up reward systems, providing positive feedback, or simply offering encouragement.
  5. Finally, make sure to regularly check in with members to see how they are doing and offer support as needed. A supportive community should be there for its members through thick and thin!                                                                                       

5.If you had a crystal ball, what impacts do you hope you will see for society over the next decade through the work you are doing?

If I had a crystal ball, I would hope to see a more just and equitable society over the next decade. Through my work as an advocate for social change, I hope to see a world where everyone has the opportunity to live a safe, healthy, and prosperous life. I believe that we can achieve this by working together to create policies and systems that provide everyone with the resources they need to thrive. In particular, I hope to see increased investment in education, healthcare, and housing. By providing everyone with access to high-quality education, healthcare, and housing, we can level the playing field and give everyone an equal chance at success. Additionally, I hope to see an increase in civic engagement, with more people getting involved in their local communities and using their voices to effect change. With more people engaged in the democratic process, we can hold our elected officials accountable and make sure that they are representing our interests. Finally, I hope to see a reduction in hatred and division in our society. Too often, we are pitted against each other based on our differences. But when we come together and focus on our shared humanity, we can build a stronger and more united society. So that is what I hope to see in the next decade: a more just and equitable world for all.


Kortney Ziegler, PhD, is a serial entrepreneur who develops simple tech solutions that increase financial and social prosperity for users. Before launching WellMoney with the support of ideas42Ventures, Dr. Ziegler co-founded crowdfunding platform Appolition, raising over $1 million to pay bail for people who can’t afford it. He is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and the first person to hold the PhD of African American Studies from Northwestern University.


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