Indian-origin Manpreet Monica Singh sworn in as US’ 1st female Sikh judge
9 January, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
Harris County Judge Manpreet Monica Singh, of Indian origin, became the first female Sikh judge in the United States on a historic day for Houston, Texas.
Harris County Judge Manpreet Monica Singh, of Indian origin, became the first female Sikh judge in the United States on a historic day for Houston, Texas, according to ABC 13.
“Mama we made it! It is a ‘true honor’ to rep the people of Harris County as a Sikh civil court judge. Thank you to everyone for making this a historic moment, one that someday won’t be an uncommon event – because there will be a judiciary that includes countless Sikh people and other minorities. I’m ready to put my 2 decades of experience to good use,” wrote Manpreet Monica Singh in a Facebook post. She was born and raised in Houston and now lives in Bellaire with her husband and two children.
An attorney for 20 years, Monica has been involved in many civil rights organisations at the local, state and national levels.
“It means a lot to me because I represent H-town the most, so for it to be us, I’m happy for it,” she said.
Judge Ravi Sandill, the state’s first South Asian judge, presided over the ceremony in a packed courtroom last Friday, reported ABC 13.
“It’s a really big moment for the Sikh community,” Sandill said adding, “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 also for all women of colour.”
Sikhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world. There are an estimated 500,000 Sikhs in the US, with 20,000 Sikhs just in the Houston area, reported ABC 13.
However, there wasn’t a female Sikh judge in the country before Manpreet.
“I thought it was important for kids, as they go through their education, that they could see that there’s a possibility for professions that we never had access to before,” Singh said.