Though it was only thirty days (this time) because the "crimes" they committed were rarely grievous and were often only misdemeanors, the point was being made. These were young people who were prepared to suffer. Warriors who would not be denied.
Hitting the ground running as an social change agent, Smith-Robinson joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and immediately helped to organize chapters in Charleston, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; and Macomb, Mississippi. Then she went on to participate in the Freedom Rides, for which she spent 45 days at the infamous Parchman Prison Farm.
Within two years, despite her youth and her gender, she had become such a responsible member of SNCC, she was in charge of an entire summer voter registration drive in Mississippi and the Sojourner Truth motor fleet that provided transportation for organizers to move around the southern United States. Eventually, she was voted the organization's Executive Secretary (its chief administrator) and, as such, was a focused and militant Black Power proponent.
Once, when a group of SNCC volunteers were waiting to board a plane for a trip to Africa, they were told the plane had overbooked and they would need to wait for a later flight. Without a signal to anyone, Smith-Robinson simply marched out and plunked herself down on the jetway until they were given their seats. In-your-face women don't mind taking the lead and will do what's necessary.