4th Annual Black Excellence Event

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Stories | 0 comments

Every February, we honor the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who have helped shape our nation by celebrating Black History Month. In addition to celebrating as a nation during the month of February, you can take part in local celebrations, too. Mark your calendars to join Higher Works Collaborative for the 4th annual Black Excellence Celebration from Friday, February 17th through Sunday, February 19th.

Buddy King, Director of Operations at Higher Works Collaborative, shared information about the event this year, and how it got started. “Our Expo and Gala started six years ago as a way to showcase the Black Businesses and Leaders of our communities. There were so many people who had ideas but not the means, and we wanted to create a space where people can showcase their ideas. We believed that it should be a formal event so created the banquet to complement the event. Over the years the event grew and after a pause due to the pandemic, we were able to hold our event again in 2022, when we expanded to the Park Event Center – which is a wonderful space. We’ll be celebrating there this year as well.”

Black Excellence St. CloudFriday the 17th features the Black Business Expo, featuring and supporting black businesses in our communities. The Expo is from 1-6pm on Friday and continues from 9am-3pm on Saturday the 18th. On the evening of the 18th is the Black Excellence Gala. This year’s theme is renaissance-inspired and will be an evening of glamor, dinner, music, dancing, awards, and more. On Sunday the 19th from 3-5pm you can join the Black History Celebration Program with a 3pm brunch.

“This event helps us focus on economic growth for Small Minority Businesses. This is an opportunity for both exposure and collaboration. Higher Works Collaborative decided to make this a weekend-long experience to honor Black History Month and also so our community has options to participate in different events. There’s something for everyone … We have the expo for businesses to be shared with the community, we have the gala, a formal event with the opportunity to hear about the great work we have accomplished in 2022, and new this year is the Black History Program on Sunday with an afternoon brunch.”

Like any community event, securing funding and getting exposure can be the most difficult part. “As a non-profit, we rely on the generosity of the community to help us with special programs like this. We want to continue the great work that is happening. Without events like this, it is challenging to maintain a healthy budget that allows us the staffing and overhead to continue the work. We know that without participation in the event for some to see what is happening, they may miss an opportunity to invest in a cause they are moved by.” 

“As a newer event in the area, we have found that many of the established, larger non-profits have more established relationships with most of the businesses in the community. The question we always ask ourselves is, “how do we insert ourselves into some of the established donors in the community?” We believe the work we are doing is changing lives and providing opportunities. It is almost impossible to maintain an organization on grants alone. We are really focused on securing more donors and partners who believe in the work we’re doing and can help us move this mission forward.”

“We’re so grateful for our current local partnership with the Initiative Foundation and the Park Event Center for this weekend experience. Higher Works Collaborative works with several businesses on a variety of projects or programs during the year … but without the support of our communities, business leaders, and city leaders – there’s only so much we can do to spread the spirit of the event. We are always looking for volunteers and partners to grow our organization’s reach and capabilities.”

“The Black Excellence weekend experience is a great time. We had so much good feedback from last year and are excited about what will come in 2023. We know with time and community support this could be a longstanding, larger event in the years to come. If anyone has any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to Buddy King at Buddy.King@hwcmn.org or you can call the office at 320-774-1588.”



Recent Posts

Bri’s Lodge

BriAnna Rose Kruzel passed away unexpectedly on September 28, 2013, from unknown causes. She was just 18 years old. She left behind her parents, Randy and Tami Kruzel, along with her two brothers, Josh Kulus and Brandon Kruzel. Shortly after, BriAnna’s family and...

Active Central MN

Have you ever heard of (or participated in) the Earth Day Run 5K? How about the Apple Duathlon in Sartell? The Clearwater Graniteman Triathlon? All of these are organized by our friends at Active Central MN. But Active Central MN is about more than a single race...

What Are You Doing to Keep Relevant in Today’s Work Environment?

No matter what field you’re in, it’s likely the industry is constantly changing. That’s the reality of today’s work environment. It’s easy to get comfortable in a single position. But once you’re back out on the job hunt – or looking to be – you may find yourself a...

Arbor Hair Studio

Arbor Hair Studio has been part of the Greater St. Cloud Community since 2017, but owner Michelle Meier has been in the industry since 2003. “I opened a salon that uses safe, holistic, and naturally derived ingredients in our products. We were the first Green Circle...

Help Your Community and Yourself Through Volunteer Work

The best way to build and foster a sense of involvement is by engaging with your community. What’s the best way to engage with your community? Volunteer work, of course! We all know that volunteering is a good thing to do, but do we really know why? It may seem like a...