Indian-origin Sikh woman, Manpreet Monica Singh became the first ever female Sikh judge in the US after she was sworn in as a Harris county judge. Born and brought up in Houston, after her father immigrated to the US early in the 1970s, Singh currently lives in Bellaire with her husband and two children.

A trial lawyer for 20 years, Singh was sworn in on Friday, January 6 as a Harris County Civil Court judge at Law No. 4 in Texas. In her career expanding over two decades, the newly appointed judge has been involved in numerous civil rights organizations at the local, state, and national levels.

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An estimated 5,00,000 Sikhs live in the US, with 20,000 Sikhs living in the Houston area. “It means a lot to me because I represent H-town (a nickname of Houston) the most, so for it to be us, I’m happy for it,” Singh expressed during the oath-taking ceremony.

The state’s first South Asian judge, Indian-American Ravi Sandill called it a big moment for the Sikh community. Sandill was also presiding over the ceremony which happened in a packed courtroom. “When they see someone of colour, someone a little different, they know that possibility is available to them. Manpreet is not only an ambassador for Sikhs, but she’s an ambassador for all women of colour,” he quoted.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also called it a proud day for the Sikh Community, adding that “it is also a proud day for all people of colour who see the diversity of the city of Houston in the diversity of the court”.