Webinar – Creating Community Online: How to Provide Connection and Support in Virtual Groups


No CEUs are provided for this webinar after June 8, 2021.

Click here to view the webinar recording.

Click here to view the ppt slides.

Speakers Bios:

  • Tonya Kubo, Online Communities Expert
  • Brandi Gates-Burgess, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • Karen Garcia, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor
  • Michele Poole, WIC Nutrition Assistant, Peer Counselor

Objectives: By the end of the webinar, attendees will be able to: 

  • Apply best practices to fostering inclusion during online sessions
  • Cultivate a community atmosphere among strangers online
  • Facilitate relationships among participants between meetings

Time Stamps

00:00– Introduction by Robbie Gonzalez-Dow (Host)

06:50– Tonya Kubo, Online Communities Expert

09:15 Online Community Defined- Shared interest and own culture

11:15– Where Online Community Takes Place- affects how the community interacts

14:30– The Value of Online Community

  • Can support each other no matter where you live
  • Accessible and convenient 

19:18– Top 10 Considerations

  • Questions to ask before building a group or to analyze the current group
  • Be sure to have community standards or policies- look at other models that exist, like Facebook
  • Define what success looks like to stay on track

29:30– How to get your group seen- Offline and Online Publicity 

31:30– Theory Meets Practice- Panel with Brandi Gates-Burgess, Karen Garcia, and Michele Poole

32:40– How Brandi started offering online support and what it looks like:

  • Started group to let African American, black mothers support each other with breastfeeding in a safe space
  • Switched to online with COVID-19
  • Diverse group
  • Monthly meetings, but moved to weekly support now that it’s online
  • Do food demonstrations to show how to use WIC food
  • Try to stay up to date on Instagram and Facebook 
  • Utilize staff members who are comfortable using social media 
  • Be mindful of HIPAA

47:25– Go live once a week because of community request

  • All live recordings from the past 6 weeks are on IGTV 

50:30– Setting boundaries- set time to respond and post

52:30– Interesting questions

55:15– Team dynamic- good communication, guided by what community wants

  • The team is a part of the community so they understand the needs and wants

01:01:45– Q&A

01:02:25– WIC coordination and HIPAA

  • Not using their real names, using their Instagram names

01:05:45– Instagram is easy, not many problems with it

  • Older clients need guidance with how to use Instagram
  • Helpful to start where your community is present

01:08:20– How to make posts pretty

  • App called Canva- super easy to use, free for the basic package

01:09:15– Outreach locations- follow hashtags, share with the local coalition, share on 


01:11:20– Are you open to having people from outside the Oakland area?

  • Will offer support, but local community support is best

01:13:2– Community clinic

  • One guest speaker, but it is usually informal
  • Plan to have a guest speaker once a month

01:15:10– How do you control viewers?

  • Try to keep track of people joining
  • Facebook messenger room- private, limited to 50 people

01:19:15– Instagram poll, question feature, and count down feature 

01:21:30– Schedule and roles 

01:24:30– WIC program supports them

1:27:25– Spanish speaking community

  • Trying to figure out the best way to offer support
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