Extinction Witness

Personal & Planetary Peacekeeping

Please see the new Lucille's Memorials website to
learn about and participate in this work in service to
individual and collective vitality.

Extinction Witness is a global arts project of Empowerment WORKS, Inc. Driven by a reasoned sense of urgency, Extinction Witness fosters common vitality for peaceful conflict resolution and catalyzes the current shift to a universally compassionate exchange of goods and services.

The Extinction Witness website is in transition Spring 2018 along with our Programs and Productions. A bit of project philosophy and history is provided below.

Please register to receive project updates

or send us a note if you’d like to connect.


Writer and creative director Megan Hollingsworth initiated Extinction Witness in 2012 with recognition of the naturally complicated and conflicted human emotional and spiritual response to genocide, global warming, and species extinction.

Extinction Witness was inspired by desire to connect with and support those who are informed about the 6th mass extinction, know the climate science, and live in “a world of wounds”.

Extinction Witness - November 2013 Interview

The project is also intended to celebrate and amplify the range of compassionate responses toward cultural and biological revival to allay species extinction, which is now estimated to be 1,000 times higher than natural background rates of extinction and yet accelerating.

'Witness' in Extinction Witness originates from the Quaker witness practice.

The project work has included an eighteen-month (February 2014 – September 2015) creative witness with the critically endangered and extinct, including languages.

Featuring the work of a few other writers and several visual artists, including Bryan Holland, Chris Jordan, Denise Monaghan, Jeff Cain, and Tom Murphy, the 2014 – 2015 witness revolved on a monthly basis from one group to the next and was offered in posts via MailChimp. The edited and archived posts will be available via the Extinction Witness website in 2018.

Mass Extinction Grief & Creativity

"Extinction wasn’t a cost of progress;
  it was an unnecessary cost of carelessness.
 Humans could work around the needs of these birds,
       and these creatures could exist around development.
But it took some thinking, some hard work, and some tinkering."
- Carl Safina, In Defense of Biodiversity: Why Protecting Species from Extinction Matters via Yale Environment 360

As Carl Safina writes, extinction and biodiversity loss do matter. This is not just a matter of human subsistence but of an intelligence born and lived uniquely through each individual.

Just as with family members, humans naturally grieve the passing of community members, individuals and whole groups. While no substitute for in-person community grief ritual, Mass Extinction Grief & Creativity Facebook group is supportive community for sharing of poetry, prose, and visual art produced in the grieving process.

The global situation coupled with the realness of all we carry in our own lives is an incredible lot to navigate. We ought to be very gentle with ourselves and one another as we continue healing long-lived wounds of the warring culture while enduring daily traumas of biospheric upheaval.

The real loss, we grieve.


Lost Species Day

Extinction Witness is one in a growing coalition of artists, educators, museum curators, scientists and writers forwarding Lost Species Day, November 30th. Lost Species Day offers a chance each year to explore the stories of extinct and critically endangered species, cultures, lifeways, and ecological communities and an opportunity for participants to make or renew commitments to all who remain, and to develop creative and practical solutions.

This growing practice of creative mourning rituals for lost and endangered species and cultures is a pivotal response to awareness of mass species extinction.

Lucille’s Memorials

Weaving the grief work with the absolutely necessary action of hands-on labor to revive biological diversity, Extinction Witness and Pollinator Posse are teamed up for fostering Lucille's Memorials. Lucille’s Memorials honor mothers of all walks and support open display of chronic grief in service to psychospiritual and ecological regeneration for everyone’s benefit.

Online Grief & Creativity Forum

For those without companionship and/or an in-person group to express compassion through artwork, online Mass Extinction Grief & Creativity Forum provides a sure and safe container.

For 2018, Mass Extinction Grief & Creativity Forum participants are invited and supported to practice the revolving creative witness with an overarching theme of ‘House Keeping’.

Aside from this being a forum for compassionate witness of the losses and one another's original works, group sharing is unstructured. Members are free to share what is their personal focus at any time and are not required to participate in the revolving witness practice. To join, please send request via the Facebook Group Page


Extinction and biodiversity loss do matter. This is not just a matter of human subsistence but of an intelligence born and lived uniquely through each individual. Humans are as vital an expression of this greater intelligence as any and humans know well as any other mammal how to exist harmoniously in community when all of human sense is nourished.

The present mass extinction of species can be allayed, near term human extinction is an uncertainty, and biological and cultural diversity can and are being revived. Yet, we are in the midst of massive loss with more, as always, to come.

As with water shortages and all physiological dysfunction, warning signals, when heeded, prevent crisis and catastrophe.

One of the primary actions needed now, embodied grieving catalyzes this great revival. Feeling and processing pain associated with past, present, and anticipated loss and expressing our grief peacefully, if fiercely, clears the mind-body of the pain and helps to clarify actions that are truly helpful in response to the loss, whatever the loss may be. And as with many other animals, all humans grieve, though differently.

There is non-dual reality. Death is and is not real. Peace is ever present and accessible always.

Essence carries on. Yet, each body is a unique channel of this essence.

With each body's birth, profound joy. With each body's presence, an essence uniquely expressed and experienced. With each body's pleasure and pain, suffering's greatest potential. With each death, profound sorrow.

Happiness in life is a matter of being alive with care. Everyone's happiness matters - influences the whole.

In this recording, Megan Hollingsworth introduces Joy Giving Practice for Lost Species Day 2016.

A tip on site navigation:
the hummingbird leads you home

©2018 Extinction Witness
a project of Empowerment WORKS, a 501c3 for-impact organization

site by NacreData L.L.C.

Empowerment Works Logo