After several strategic meetings and research about how they could effectively be a more active participant in the community, Higher Works Collaborative was established in 2017 with its executive team Pastor James Alberts, 1st Lady Natoyia Alberts, and Rev. Buddy King. HWC started in the basement of Higher Ground Church of God in Christ and then moved into its own offices in downtown St. Cloud and eventually to its current location, at Midtown Square.
“HWC is unique because it focuses on the success of the African American of slave descent story, struggle, and success. For central Minnesota, there are very few resource organizations specifically focused on this historic group of Americans. Using the combined experience of the whole team we approach the challenges of being successful while black holistically; understanding that a person with a problem most likely has several areas of need, not just one,” shared Rev. Buddy King.
And “Collaborative” is in their name for a reason; community partnerships are very important to them “We realize that to achieve our mission, the help of others is required. We have very powerful partnerships with other non-profit organizations, government agencies at the local, county, and state levels, all of the area school districts, medical groups, and a small (and growing) army of community members and supporters. Our list grows daily and we work hard to continue that moving forward.”
When asked why they started HWC in Central MN, King responded by explaining that this area is “big enough to make a difference, small enough to make it happen.” How true! “The social support of the community is HUGE. Whether you are part of the community we serve or are a part of the community at large, you are a part of the Central Minnesota Village. It is always good to see smiling faces at events and around the community supporting each other as we come together to make this a brighter place to be. We do great work and we have great people doing that work. We need to support them and this is one of the biggest challenges. The money that it takes to run an office, payroll, and all the initiatives that we do is surprisingly large.”
Higher Works Collaborative has a variety of classes and programming, including:
MLK Learning Center - Next Door to HWC
Effective Black Parenting Workshops
Certified Nursing Assistance Certification
Computer Programming, Training, and Education
Advanced Care Planning
Health and Wellness Workshops
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultants & Workshops
Social Workers onsight
…and more! If you want to learn more about offerings or get involved, you can join their mailing list to receive updates. Their website also has opportunities to become a donor and/or volunteer.
“Seeing the glimmer in the eyes of the people that have found it very hard to get a foothold in this community makes it all worth it. It means a lot when a person can explain the situation and know that someone understands where they are coming from. It means even more when there is help.”