Indian-origin Manpreet Monica Singh has been sworn in as a Harris county judge, becoming the first female Sikh judge in the US.
Singh was born and raised in Houston and now lives in Bellaire with her husband and two children.
She was sworn in as a judge of the Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 4 in Texas on Friday.
Singh’s father immigrated to the US in the early 1970s.
A trial lawyer for 20 years, she has been involved in numerous civil rights organizations at the local, state, and national levels.
“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,” she said at the oath ceremony.
Indian-American Judge Ravi Sandill, the state’s first South Asian judge, presided over the ceremony, which took place in a packed courtroom.
“It’s a really big moment for the Sikh community,” Sandill said.
“When they see someone of color, 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 said.
There are an estimated 500,000 Sikhs in the US, with 20,000 Sikhs living in the Houston area.
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”.