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Denise Rogers-Heydt


Denise Rogers-Heydt is a Youth Organizer in the Fresno region, she is a Fresno State alumni and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with two minors: one in Philanthropic and Community-Based Leadership and the other in Music. As a research assistant with the Central Valley Health Policy Institute, they took part in analyzing focus group data for the Climate Change Health & Equity, developing the Central Valley Housing Data Repository, and co-facilitating racial equity workshops for DRIVE projects. Denise served as the Fresno State NAACP Political Action Chair during the Spring and Summer terms of 2020, during which she co-organized and co-lead the #WeCan’tBreathe event which highlighted the social inequities experienced by Black residents of Fresno, as well as other communities of color; there were at least 3,000 people in attendance and it is known as the largest demonstration in Fresno’s history. Because of this demonstration, she was awarded the Youth Way of Peace Award by The Fresno Center for Nonviolence and the city of Fresno established a Police Reform Commission and Black Lives Matter Day. She also developed the Clovis Unified School District Alumni Discrimination survey, which generated over 4,200 responses in less than 72 hours.

Denise comes from a blended family and is the oldest of 7. Her father is a military veteran and raised them to be informed on sociopolitical issues, providing them with data & historical background to fill in the gaps when they had questions as to why people would make decisions based on building capital over basic human needs and rights. Those moments planted the seeds of social justice, her personal experiences with racism &  academic journey have allowed those seeds to blossom into the work that she has been able to contribute to today.
Their educational background and interests include: Race & Diversity, Humanics scholar, Classical vocal training, Opera, and Choral performance; in addition to organizing for the community and critically thinking about social issues, Denise enjoys: performing music, modeling, and writing/reading poetry.
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