Indian-origin Manpreet Monica Singh became the first female Sikh judge in the United States after being sworn in as a Harris county judge in Texas.
In a Facebook post, she said,
“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."
On Friday, Singh, a Democrat, was sworn in as a judge of the Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 4. The ceremony was presided over by Indian American Judge Ravi Sandill, Texas’ first south Asian judge, in a packed courtroom.
Daughter of Indian Immigrants
After he received a green card, Manpreet’s father immigrated to the US from India as an architect.
He, along with her mother, Hardeep, owned and operated a small print shop and, according to her campaign website, “faced blatant discrimination time and time again.”
Manpreet grew up in Northwest Houston, Texas and attended the University of Texas at Austin and subsequently the South Texas College of Law.
“Being a woman of color, she is all too familiar with systems of inequality and she is empathetic to the hardships that the average American faces while trying to achieve their own dreams,” her campaign website added.
Singh has been practising law for 20 years and has tried over 100 cases. Her website adds that she is involved with several civil rights organisations at the local, state and national level.
She also served on the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the Texas Lyceum, and the Sikh Coalition.
Singh has also won a nationwide Passion of Excellence Award.
‘Not Only Ambassador for Sikhs, for All Women of Colour’
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said:
"It was a proud day for the Sikh Community, but also a proud day for all people of Colour who see the Diversity of the City of Houston in the Diversity of the Court."
At the oath ceremony, Monica said, “It means a lot to me because I represent H-town (nickname for Houston) the most, so for it to be us, I'm happy for it," she said at the oath ceremony.
"When they see someone of color (sic), 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," Judge Ravi Sandill said.
Texas' Houston area has an estimated 20,000 Sikh residents, while there are almost 500,000 Sikhs in the US.
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