By 1961, Diane Nash had emerged as one of the most respected student leaders of the sit-in movement in Nashville, TN. Diane Nash was a leader and strategist of the student wing of the 1960's Movement. A historian described her as: "…bright, focused, utterly fearless, with an unerring instinct for the correct tactical move at each increment of the crisis; as a leader, her instincts had been flawless, and she was the kind of person who pushed those around her to be at their best, or be gone from the movement." Diane's campaigns were among the most successful in her era. Nash's efforts included the first successful civil rights campaign to de-segregate lunch counters, the Freedom Riders, who unify interstate travel, and founding the SNCC.
Nash was not part of the originally group of Freedom Riders, but she knew that in the event that they needed assistance, she and others would be willing to help and join in. Diane spoke about how the original group was beaten and one of the buses was burned. Despite the violence against the Freedom Riders, she and others decided to take action and organize another bus ride. Kennedy Administration tried to get them to stop what they were doing. Diane said that the legacy of the efforts from SNCC and the Freedom Riders are relevant for today. In order to apply the historical tactics and strategies to today, "we need to have a better understanding of what actually happened" said Diane.