About the Claremont Forum
Promoting Wellness, Education, & the Arts
Over 30 years of community service
Welcome to the Claremont Forum! We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with over 30 years of dedicated community service. Our mission is to promote wellness, education, and the arts, fostering a thriving and inclusive environment that empowers individuals to lead healthier, more creative, and fulfilling lives.
Our journey began in 1992 when founding director Rick Moore and a group of compassionate volunteers initiated the Prison Library (PLP) Project in Claremont, CA. The PLP traces its roots back to 1973 when Ram Dass and Bo Lozoff set up the project in Durham, NC. When the North Carolina group completed their mission, the dedicated volunteers in Claremont stepped forward to continue the vital work of the Prison Library Project.
THE PRISON LIBRARY PROJECT
The heart of our organization lies in the Prison Library Project, where our mission is to provide books and educational resources to incarcerated men and women nationwide. Books play a crucial role in the growth and development of individuals, but unfortunately, many prisons do not allow family and friends to send books to inmates. That's where we come in. Each year, we send over 15,000 packages of high-quality books to readers in prison, empowering them through knowledge and connection.
We firmly believe that access to reading materials supports a prisoner’s ability to improve overall literacy. Books have the power to open minds, broaden perspectives, and empower change. Education is a key factor in breaking the cycle of recidivism, but unfortunately, many US prisons lack the resources or do not prioritize access to books. The Prison Library Project is committed to bridging this gap and making a positive impact on the lives of those it serves.
OUR MISSION EXPANDS
In 1992, The Claremont Forum was officially incorporated as the umbrella organization, solidifying our commitment to becoming a vibrant community center focused on wellness, education, and the arts. As we grew, our offerings expanded to include an array of wellness programs, music and art exhibits, lectures, and a variety of other community events. Among these events, the Farmers & Artisans Market became a cherished tradition, held every Sunday in the heart of Claremont Village.
Throughout our growth, the Prison Library Project remained at the core of all our activities, continually driving our mission and leaving a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals.
A SIGN OF PROGRESS
In 2008, after years of gradual development, the Claremont Forum secured a space in a renovated Packing House in Claremont Village. Here, we established a used bookstore that serves as the headquarters for Prison Library Project volunteers. Donated books are sent to prisoners, and the surplus books are sold to the public to support the program and raise funds for postage.
We are immensely proud of the progress we have made over the past 30 years, and we remain steadfast in our dedication to serving the community, promoting education, and empowering positive change through the power of literature.
Claremont Forum Bookshop
in the West Village Packing House.
La Bahn Ranch is just one of the many vendors at the Claremont Farmers & Artisans Market
Former President, Steve Bell, prepares books to mail out to prisoners.
Longtime volunteer Doug Wallacehas supported the PLP for over 30 years