Optimism Playlist: “Hammer and a Nail”

"Hammer and a Nail" by Indigo Girls bluefeet Optimism Playlist contribution by Helen Iris Torres

"Hammer and a Nail" by Indigo Girls bluefeet Optimism Playlist contribution by Helen Iris TorresContributor:

Helen Iris Torres, Executive Director and CEO of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE)



What do you do…

… for work?

I run one of the leading women’s organizations in California. We work towards political and economic parity for Latinas and to advance the status of women.

… for fun?

I watch tons of Star Wars and other fun films with my twin boys, Adam and Joshua. We also “force” my husband, Jonathan, to join in.

Your contribution to the optimism playlist?

Hammer and a Nail” by Indigo Girls

Why did you pick this song? What does it do for you?

I find the song very empowering – especially when I first heard it. I was moving out to Los Angeles from Michigan. I’d recently completed my Masters Degree in Urban Studies and was ready to tackle anything, but was still wondering how to go about improving the world.

My favorite part of the song is the realization that you sometimes wonder if you can make a change, but owning up to the responsibility that you must try.

Even though I listened to this song a hundred times over driving cross country back in the fall of 1993 – I listen to it in present time to remind me of the idealism I had and still need to hold on to in order to make this world a better place.

My life is part of the global life
I’d found myself becoming more immobile
When I’d think a little girl in the world can’t do anything
A distant nation my community
A street person my responsibility
If I have a care in the world I have a gift to bring

Where can we find you?



We put our bodies on a diet. Why not our brains? This is the motivation for our optimism playlist.

Here’s proof that optimism rules. That it’s good for business. And music, of course, improves health and well being

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