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Currently a businesswoman, Mrs. Means has been recognized as a dedicated leader in the fields of elementary and secondary education, the civil rights movement of the turbulent 60's, civic involvement, international affairs, and historic preservation. She held several positions with the Austin Independent School District in the areas of elementary and secondary education. She was also a Head Start Director, and the first coordinator for reading instruction in the junior and senior high schools of Austin. In the area of teacher education, she introduced her colleagues to new techniques of reading instruction and designed the reading specialists program, which was funded under the Emergency School Aid Act.

She was a visiting instructor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Prairie View A&M University during summer months from 1959 to 1969. She conducted workshops in teacher education at Huston-Tillotson College. She was also an instructor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin during the spring and summer of 1972 to 1973.

In the area of civil rights, she and her family began to help remove age-old color barriers in Austin, which opened doors for Blacks and other minorities as early as the 1950's. In 1958, Barton Springs swimming pool was integrated as a result of protests initiated by students at Austin High School. One of her daughters, Joan, and other Black students at Austin High had been denied participation at their senior class picnic because Blacks were not allowed to swim in Barton Springs swimming pool located in Zilker Park in Austin. She supported her daughter when she spoke at the Austin City Council meeting regarding the discriminatory city policies. Following peaceful demonstrations led by family and friends, Barton Springs swimming pool was eventually integrated – with far-reaching repercussions…

Also, when her children and other children of the Austin Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., were denied admission to skate at the newly-opened Ice Palace in 1963, she and other Jack and Jill mothers organized MAC (Mothers Action Council). Mrs. Means became chair of the Direct Action ("Picket") Committee for the purpose of breaking down the walls of segregation in Austin. As chair, she organized peaceful demonstrations, both sit-ins and stand-ins at establishments that had histories of segregation. This action spurred the integration of all public accommodations facilities in Austin, which eventually led to the creation of the Human Relations Department of The City of Austin.

Mrs. Means also had a direct role in the integration of athletics at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1963 she conferred with Frank Erwin, a newly-appointed member to the Board of Regents of the University of Texas, to inform him of the desire of her son James H. Means, Jr. to attend the University of Texas and participate in athletics there, but that athletics were segregated. Mr. Erwin began an investigation into the matter, leading to the integration of athletics at the university of Texas at Austin in 1963. James Means, Jr. became the first Black letterman at the University of Texas which led to the integration of Southwest Conference.

She also played a leading role in the integration of St. Stephen's Episcopal School. She encouraged her daughter Patricia to enroll at St. Stephen's Episcopal School. Patricia was the first Black graduate of St. Stephen's in 1966. In the 1980's Mrs. Means served two terms as a member of St. Stephen's Board of Trustees.
From 1967 to 1974 she was a City Council appointee to the Parks and Recreation Board, where she initiated steps for the improvement of parks in East Austin. This initiative led to the construction of Givens Recreation Center. The city of Austin recognized Mrs. Means' contributions by inscribing the following statement on a plaque mounted on a wall at Givens Recreation Center: "A Tribute in Honor of Mrs. Bertha Sadler Mans. Her dedication and Leadership made this structure a reality – May 1977."

Mrs. Means has received numerous distinctions, honors and awards for her involvement in education, civil rights, international affairs and historic preservation. Listed among them are The Joe W. Neal Award presented by the International Hospitality Council of Austin at the International Consular Ball held April 17, 2004 for outstanding leadership in international relations; the YWCA Woman of the Year Award in 2004 for Community Service; the Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Degree on May 8, 2004 presented during the 2004 Spring Commencement Ceremonies at Huston-Tillotson University; In July, 2004, NOKOA Newspaper recognized her as a Texas Human Rights Pioneer; Charles Akins African American Heritage Award was presented to her on February 17, 2002. She was the first recipient of the Arthur B. DeWitty Human relations award presented by the Austin Branch of the NAACP in 1966. On May 8, 1978, a committee of citizens in Austin presented her with a Testimonial to show appreciation for her extensive work in initiating and supporting programs for civic improvement. Congress Avenue was named in their honor on May 8, 1978. The Austin-American Statesman newspaper selected her as one of the Outstanding Women in Austin in 1979. The Villager's "Living Legend Award" was presented to her by The Villager Newspaper at its 22nd Anniversary Banquet held May 13, 1995. In 2008, The Austin Area Urban League honored her with the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Leadership Award in Recognition for Outstanding Service to the Central Texas Community.

At the international level, Mrs. Means organized the Austin-Maseru Sister Cities Committee. She later became a State Representative for Sister Cities International. Her main responsibility was to help other cities in Texas become involved in the Sister Cities program, which was founded by the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954.

Mrs. Means is Honorary Consul General for The Kingdom of Lesotho, which involves communication with the Ambassador from Lesotho to the United States and a citizens committee in Maseru on matters pertaining to the Sister Cities relationship. She has been associated with the International Hospitality Council of Austin since its founding in 1958. On December 16, 1998, she was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of valuable contributions to the Council. She also received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Office of International Visitors Program of the united States Information Agency at the same time.

She is currently involved in the restoration of historic Rock Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which was founded by her grandfather. Each year on the first Sunday in November, relatives and friends meet for their annual homecoming designed to keep their rich heritage alive. An historic Marker stands at the entrance of the Church property. The Church is listed in the Handbook of Texas.

Mrs. Means is a founding member of St. James' Episcopal Church, member of the Austin Chapter of The Links, Inc., and Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Area Chairperson, The United Fund of Austin & Travis County, 1965-1972

Chairperson, Voter Registration Projects sponsored by the Austin Branch of NAACP

Citizens for a More Beautiful Town Lake with Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson, Honorary Chairperson

The Advisory Board for Channel 36, KTVV/KXAN

Advisory Board member of Meals on Wheels