A lifelong commitment to social justice
“We talk about equity all the time, and my priority is to support equity however I can." - Sally Lapides
Sally Lapides remembers as a child standing outside a supermarket selling cakes her mother had baked. The proceeds supported civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama. “My parents felt strongly that everyone is the same, regardless of where they come from or who they love,” Sally explains.
It was only the beginning of her lifelong commitment to social justice, something she plans to continue through this fund and to involve her two adult children, Ian and Emmett Barnacle. “This is something I’ve always wanted to bring my kids’ names into. Rather than teaching hate and fear, we should teach our children to give back and to support what they value,” Sally states.
Noting the Winston Churchill quote, “You make a living by what you earn and a life by what you give,” she shares, “That has always been a guide for me. I feel both obligated and thrilled to give back what I can.”
Raised in Barrington, Sally earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from Boston University and intended to enroll in graduate school. Her mother (a realtor) suggested she try her hand at real estate in the months between programs. Now president and CEO of Residential Properties Ltd, which she co-founded in 1981, Sally says, “I found my calling. It’s been a challenging, remarkable journey.”
Sally has long been associated with the Rhode Island Foundation, having chaired the successful Million Dollar Challenge Campaign for Equity Action in 2008, the same year she established her first fund at the Foundation, the Sally E. Lapides Fund for Equity Action.
Sally’s sons both are lifelong Rhode Islanders, with Ian now broker/manager of Residential Properties’ Barrington office and Emmett operating Emmett Barnacle Glass Sculpture. Emmett (with wife Lauren Jette) and Ian both have children born in the summer of 2019.
Of the family, Sally acknowledges, “We talk about equity all the time, and my priority is to support equity however I can. For me, the Rhode Island Foundation is a role model for a million people in the state. I talk with people all the time who have been touched by the Foundation.”