Manpreet Monica Singh of Indian origin has been appointed as the nation’s first female Sikh judge. On Friday, Manpreet Monica Singh took the oath of office as a judge in Texas’ Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 4. “Mama we made it! It is a ‘true honour’ to rep the people of Harris County as a Sikh civil court judge.”
Texas’ first south Asian judge and Indian-American Judge Ravi Sandill presided over the ceremony in a jam-packed courtroom.
In the 1970s, Manpreet’s father, an architect, immigrated to the US. According to the information on her campaign website, AJ, her father, arrived in the United States as an architect in the early 1970s after receiving a green card as a result of the Immigration Act of 1965. He pursued his career no matter where it led him as a young, turbaned Sikh bachelor at the time.
Later, her parents ran a tiny print business. According to her campaign website, they experienced blatant discrimination over and over again.
Manpreet attended school in Houston, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and then went on to the South Texas College of Law to earn her law degree. According to her campaign website, “Being a woman of colour, she is all too familiar with systems of inequality, and she is empathetic to the hardships that the average American faces”.
Singh has been a practising lawyer for 20 years and has tried over 100 cases. She is reportedly associated with numerous local, state, and federal civil rights organisations, according to her website. She has served on the boards of the Sikh Coalition, the Texas Lyceum, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.
Additionally, Manpreet received a national Passion of Excellence Award. She came in second place for Houston Young Lawyers Association Most Outstanding Attorney in 2010 and won the Distinguished Member Award from the South Asian Bar Association in 2017.
Sylvester Turner, mayor of Houston, 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.”
Manpreet stated at the oath ceremony, “It means a lot to me because I represent H-town (a nickname for Houston) the most, so for it to be us, I’m happy for it.”
It’s a particularly important time for the Sikh community, according to Sandill.
He further said, “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.”
Manpreet has been married to Mandeep for 19 years, and they currently reside in Bellaire, according to Monica’s website. Together, they like going on vacation and hanging out with their two soccer-mad boys, who are students at Bellaire High School. There are 20,000 Sikhs in the Houston region out of an estimated 500,000 in the US.